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gateway ■ WWW.mMItWMMUm.CA ■ January 30,2013 



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WAUNEITA INVADED 

Tuesday night’s Wauneita Initiations 
were interrupted by this group of 
“intergrationalists” demanding equal 
rights for men. The unidentified 
blanketed object was rumoured to be 
Betty Robertson, past Wauneita 
president and vice-president of the 
Student’s Union. 



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McGill attempts to bar student 
journalists from ATI requests 


Matthew Guite 

THE CONCORDIAS (CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY) 


MONTREAL (CUP) — McGill Uni¬ 
versity has filed a motion that 
would grant it the ability to deny 
access to information (ATI) re¬ 
quests from The AlcGill Daily, The 
Link, the website McGilliLeaked 
and any known associates of these 
organizations, among others, in 
response to what the university is 
describing as a "complex system of 
repetitious and abusive requests" 
for information. 

According to the Canadian Ac¬ 
cess to Information Act, publicly- 
funded, government-run institu¬ 
tions including universities are 
required to release certain docu¬ 
ments to the public when officially 
requested. 

The McGill Daily reported on Jan. 
19 that the university had filed a 
motion to the Commission d’acces 
a I'information, the provincial body 
which oversees access to informa¬ 
tion requests, claiming that the ATI 
requests were set up "as a retalia¬ 
tion measure against McGill in the 
aftermath of the 2011-2012 student 
protests." 

The motions, which names 14 re¬ 
spondents, seeks the authority to 
disregard current information re¬ 
quests and any future requests 
made by the respondents or any 
person who can be linked to them, 
essentially barring the individuals 
named from ever submitting ATI 
requests to McGill. 

It also seeks the right to deny 


future requests on a variety of sub¬ 
jects, including military research 
and mining investments. Future 
requests could also be denied if they 
were found to be "overly broad," 
"frivolous" or if they target "trivial 
documents and information." 

McGill's motion claims that the 
respondents set up a "complex 
system" via repeated ATI requests, 
which the university describes as 
repetitious and abusive. It also 
argues that responding to the re¬ 
quests would represent "serious 
impediments to (the university's) 
activities.” 

McGill student Christopher 
Bangs, the founder of the website 
McGilliLeaked and one of the re¬ 
spondents involved in the case, told 
The Concordian that he was not 
only worried about the motion it¬ 
self, but also about the motivations 
behind it. 

"We've had a lot of complaints 
— not just from McGill students, 
but from a lot of members from the 
McGill community — about how 
ATI requests are handled," he said. 

"We've all had trouble with it, but 
the fact that they're going to take 
this extreme step at this point makes 
us wonder about their commitment 
to ensuring both an open dialogue 
and access to information." 

Bangs also contested the sugges¬ 
tion that the 14 respondents were 
operating hi collaboration while 
filing their requests. 

"There were 14 of us in this 
motion, and the 14 of us did not 
coordinate our motions," he said. 


"We did not submit them togeth¬ 
er, we did not have some sort of se¬ 
cret plan to bring down the univer¬ 
sity through access to information 
requests, so the fact that they were 
all submitted at the same time does 
not give McGill University the right 
to deny not only those requests but 
also all future requests we might 
make.” 

Julie Fortier, associate director 
for McGill’s media relations office, 
explained the motion is based on 
current law, which allows ATI re¬ 
cipients the right to not answer a re¬ 
quest if it breaks certain rules, and 
thatthe ATI requests in question fall 
into these categories. 

“There are provisions within the 
law on access to information that 
allow an organization to make (a) 
request to the commission to not 
reply to certain requests when 
these are abusive by their nature, 
when they're systematic or repeti¬ 
tive ot when they could seriously 
disrupt normal activities — and we 
thought that this was the case," she 
explained. 

Fortier added that prior to this 
motion, theATlrequests inquestion 
were not rejected and that future re¬ 
quests would be denied if they were 
considered to be of the same nature 
as those listed in the motion. 

The Concordia n contacted Con¬ 
cordia’s Media Relations Director, 
Chris Mota, for comment on the 
nature, depth and number of ATT 
requests Concordia has received, 
but Mota said the school could not 
comment on the matter. 


Binary star explosions seen from Earth 


April Hudson 

NEWS EDITOR" aAPRILJHIDSON 


Although it sounds more like some¬ 
thing from a science fiction movie 
than from a University of Alberta 
study, researchers have now discov¬ 
ered that the light from binary stars 

— two stars in very close proximity 

— can be observed in galaxies far, 
far away. 

The research comes from theo¬ 
retical astrophysicist Natalia Ivanova 
and her PhD student, Jose Luis Aven- 
dano Nandez. and debunks the pre¬ 
viously-held notion that the explo¬ 
sion from two merging binary stars 
cannot be seen from our planet. 

“(Our research) is about a special 
phase in the life of binary stars — 
two stars so close to each other that 
one of them starts to rotate or orbit 
inside the envelope of another star. 
They kind of share that envelope, 
(which is) why we call this space a 
'common envelope' space," Ivanova 
explained. 

This stage is not stable. It cannot 
go on for a long time, it's pretty fast, 
and as a result of this stage, two stars 
either merge into one single star. 


or the envelope runs away, leaving 
behind a very (complex) binary.” 

Ivanova was the first to discover 
what the result of that "common en¬ 
velope" event, an energy discharge 
that takes the form of a bright light 
and can take days ot centuries to 
complete, looks like. 


“During this event, 
some part of the envelope 
will start to recombine, 
and that will produce a 
very bright light curve 
which can be seen from 
very far away.” 

NATALIA IVANOVA 

“What we've been trying to look 
for is an observational signature of 
this event. We've been trying to put 
better constraints on how we under¬ 
stand this phase — it was believed 
in the past that it would not be pos¬ 
sible to observe this event, because 
some people thought it would be 


much dimmer than what we found,” 
she explained. 

“In our study, we found that dur¬ 
ing this event, some part of the en¬ 
velope will start to recombine, and 
that will produce a very bright light 
curve which can be seen from very 
far away. That allows us now to ob¬ 
serve those events as they happen 
from distant galaxies.” 

Ivanova said the binary star en¬ 
velope is the event that “informs” 
many other binaries, including x- 
ray binaries and gravitational wave 
binaries. 

As the lead researcher on the 
paper, which was published about 
her findings in the journal Science, 
Ivanova is also a Canada Research 
Chair in astronomy and astrophysics. 

“I have always been interested in 
binary stars, and it just happened. I 
mean, in science, you don't get into 
some research when you just think 
that you (do) — you do what you 
like, and then at some point you just 
find (something) interesting,” she 
explained. 

“I was just trying to do some 
of the most challenging stuff as I 
understand it.”