Snowsuited sap sucker

Keith Murray, age 4, samples sap during a tour at the Morgan Arboreteum Sunday afternoon during the March Spring Fest Fun Day.

Banding together

Cultural studies student Haim Gorodzinsky says he's just a multimedia kind of guy. After hosting a CKUT radio show, working at the McGill Tribune and helping launch the University's ill-TV student television station, Gorodzinsky decided to try his hand at the music business.

"I knew a lot of McGill students in bands and thought it would be great for them to share resources. I came up with the idea of an all-McGill-band CD­six bands could each contribute two tracks." Gorodzinsky spread the word about his scheme and invited interested musicians to his apartment for a meeting. Conveniently, half a dozen bands showed up.

The result is the just-released Six Candles: No Label. The groups range from the delicate soul-tinged pop of Sapphires in the Mud to the jazzy blues of Polaris II to the lighthearted folk of the Garden Bards.

"This was a really good deal for us," says Sapphires in the Mud bassist Mark Davies, an English literature student. "Now we have a CD. It validates you as a band. When you show a CD to a club owner, he starts taking you seriously."

Gorodzinsky emphasizes that the CD not only features McGill student performers, but students also designed the cover and promotional poster, handled distribution, marketing and advertising and did the sound engineering and production work.

Six Candles: No Label received financial support from the Students' Society of McGill University and from the Centre for Research on Canadian Cultural Industries and Institutions. The CRCCII also created a Web site for the project.

"Normally when you think of an academic unit supporting student work, you think of a poetry journal or a student film, not this sort of thing," says CRCCII director Will Straw. "But why not? It's given many students some solid experience."

Being labelled a McGill band is both a boon and a burden, says Davies. "Outside Montreal, the McGill connection will get us noticed. But the Montreal music scene is kind of bohemian and McGill has sort of an uncool stigma. All the more reason for McGill bands to join forces and let the music speak for itself." The CD is available at the McGill Bookstore, Cheap Thrills, Sam the Record Man and HMV.

Bogus bachelors beware

It's prompted shouting matches in the Alberta legislature and it was front page news in the Globe and Mail. It all revolves around Alberta's deputy health minister Jane Fulton, a former University of Ottawa associate professor, currently under fire for fudging her resumé by overstating her academic credentials.

It's Alison Verkade's job to help ensure that the Fulton firestorm never repeats itself at McGill. Verkade (above), the manager of records and systems in the Department of Human Resources, recently sent out a memo stating that the University will be more demanding when dealing with requests from faculty or staff to have the University's copy of their official resumés updated.

"If you want to add a new degree to your CV, we will require proof that you completed that degree," says Verkade.

The new tougher attitude about resumé updates comes at the request of McGill's Internal Audit Department.

"This is more of a preventative move than anything else," says Denis Savard, director of the Internal Audit Department. He says that there is no evidence of resumé abuse, but, like any good auditor, he would rather be safe than sorry.

"When we conduct an audit, we don't just look for existing problems, we try to anticipate where problems might occur. We felt that this was an area where McGill's reputation could be put at risk, so we recommended internal controls to minimize the risk."

Savard says that if a Fultonlike episode ever developed at McGill, the University's good name would suffer. He urges department and unit heads to carefully scrutinize the resumés of all potential new faculty and staff.