Leacock is the biggest lecture hall at McGill University, seating 600 people. It's virtually impossible to make it through an undergrad degree there without having at least one class in this monstrosity of a room. It's where the university likes to put all of those massive first-year required courses, and of course the very popular student favourites like Natural Disasters and Terrestrial Planets.
Due to its enormous size and the fact that McGill is always riddled with a variety of characters, you can pretty much be guaranteed to run into these 10 specific people when you go to class in Leacock 132, that is, if you do go (I get it, it's recorded).
1. The beyond confused first-year
They're usually somewhere near the front of the room, asking questions like "How do I get onto the course website?" and "What will be on the midterm?"...chill out dude, it's September.
2. The person with all their friends' clickers
Sure, it's technically against the rules, but don't deny that you've never handed off your clicker to a friend when you needed those participation grades but maybe were a little too hungover to make it to class.
3. The Hazee
I have yet to have a class in 132 where there hasn't been someone in a full-on McGill Baseball uniform having to embarrass themselves for hazing by yelling something out in the middle of the lecture. And while it may suck for them, it's pretty entertaining for the rest of us.
4. The Person Who's Just PTFO
I get it, the lecture's recorded. No judging here. Class time needs to become nap time once in a while.
5. The Severely Out-of-Place Fourth-Year
Fourth-years who are in need of filling an elective love to take the classic Leacock 132 classes. They're pretty easy to spot - just look for the people at the back of the class not giving a shit.
6. The Foodie
Without fail there will be someone eating during class,and without fail it will be pungent AF. Get ready to smell a lot of Subway and samosas.
7. The Incessant Question Asker
Usually found directly in front of the podium, about as close to the professor's face as possible, this person tends to think that all 599 other people would love to hear their "insightful" questions every other minute. The "if you have a question, somebody else probably does too" rule doesn't always apply.
8. The Person In The Aisle Seat That Won't Move
It's a 600 person lecture hall and, for the first few classes at least, it's pretty packed, yet there's always someone who gets there early and plops themselves down in an aisle seat and refuses to stand up when people try to get by. Just move to the centre!
9. The Wonder-Struck Tour Kids
Every so often McGill tours will make a stop in Leacock classes and you get to watch as the tour kids stare in awe at how awesome having class in a room like that must be.... If only they knew.
10. The Person Who's Too Damn Tall For The Seats
Having a class in Leacock is akin to sitting in the back row of an awful coach seat on a plane. If you're over 5'10, or just have long legs, your only saving is going to be getting a front row seat (or one of the like 3 in the very back with nothing in front of them).
Why You Need To Go: With incredible views, this terrasse recently opened atop the Humaniti building as part of the Humaniti Hotel. It's definitely going to be on Montrealers' must-do lists for summers to come.
"Quebec needs plasma donors," the sponsored post says. The caption reads: "Plasma donation changes the lives of thousands of Quebecers. Plan your visit to a donation centre near you."
Three months of abstinence
Beneath the non-profit organization's post are more than 400 comments. Some ask questions about the difference between plasma and blood (plasma is the liquid portion of blood), while others ask if vaccinated folks can give blood (yes, they can).
Then there are comments like this: "I would but I'm gay and you won't let me," "Then stop your prejudice of gay people" and "I'll think about it when they stop being homophobic entirely."
According to Héma-Québec, "a man whose last sexual contact with a man was 3 or more months ago can give plasma."
While this does not rule out gay donors, the three-month restriction does not apply to lesbians, men who have sex with women or women who have sex with men.
"I would totally donate blood, but I am a healthy gay man and you don't want me because of who I sleep with (even though I have been with the same partner for 21 years). Good luck with your antiquated rules, in an age where you can screen blood for HIV and other pathogens very very quickly. So there you go, do without, it's absolutely no loss on me. So now, stop advertising on my feed," wrote a Facebook user. He asked to be identified as "a member of Montreal's gay community" to protect his privacy.
"It's honestly ridiculous that they even still have this restriction. If women can sleep with men and donate no problem, then there is absolutely no reason why men who sleep with men (or, in your case, one man) should be denied. All of the donations are tested anyway," Gatineau resident Jami Tatlock replied.
On its website, Héma-Québec responds to the question, "Why must a homosexual couple in a stable relationship wait 3 months without having sex?" in order to donate blood.
"Sex can contribute to the propagation of viruses that may be transmitted to other individuals through blood transfusions. Héma-Québec uses a range of very rigorous screening tests. Despite the high performance of these tests, the risk of an infected blood donation going undetected, however slight, is not zero because of the sensitivity limitations of the tests," it says.
"For this reason, despite the use of screening tests, we exclude donors at high risk of infections that might be transmitted through blood."
Héma-Québec describes the three-month window as a period of risk or a "silent period" when people could be asymptomatic and test negative, despite being infected with HIV or Hepatitis. The three-month restriction also applies to people who have gotten piercings or tattoos.
Laurent Paul Ménard, Héma-Québec's media relations director, told MTL Blog the organization is working to make blood donation more inclusive as "scientific evidence becomes available and blood product safety is shown."
Ménard pointed out that, since 2013, Héma-Québec has submitted multiple requests asking Health Canada — which must approve all changes to donor eligibility criteria — to reduce the qualification criteria for men who have sex with men.
Between 1992 and 2013, a man who had sex with another man — even once — could never donate blood. In 2013, a man had to wait five years after having sex with another man to donate. In 2016, the deferral period was reduced to one year. And, in 2019, one year was reduced to three months.
A new behaviour-based approach
Ménard said Héma-Québec is planning to submit to Health Canada again to ask for a new approach that takes behaviour into account, based on a model recently adopted in the U.K.
Héma-Québec, he said, will ask Health Canada to allow some sexually active men who have one same-sex partner to donate without any restrictions.
In the meantime, some potential donors are left torn between doing good and standing up for what they believe is right.
"I am torn now between donating myself," Tatlock told MTL Blog. "I want to help people, but I also kind of want to hold off until they change their homophobic policies as a kind of protest."
According to Ménard, Héma-Québec will submit the request to Health Canada by the end of this year.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Minister of Justice Simon Jolin-Barrette and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Isabelle Charest presented Bill 92, an act to move for "the creation of a specialized court in matters of sexual violence and domestic violence and relating to the training of judges in these matters."
"We no longer want people who are victims of sexual or domestic violence to hesitate to report and file a complaint in Quebec," Jolin-Barette said.
Dépôt du PL92 | Aujourd'hui, nous envoyons un message clair aux personnes victimes de violence sexuelles et de viol… https://t.co/VnMVx3iLQg
Jolin-Barrette insisted that "culture change is needed in the justice system and must happen."
The purpose of this special court on sexual and domestic violence, is, according to the minister, "to restore victims' confidence in the justice system, reduce delays and better meet the needs of victims with adapted and coordinated services."
The mandate comes out of 190 recommendations made in a report by a special government working group on sexual and domestic violence in Quebec, which was tabled last year.
"You can continue to count on the determination of the entire government [...] to make the necessary changes to better support the victims because I wish them to feel accompanied and respected in their process, to be prepared, and equipped during their testimony in court," said Charest.
If you require resources or assistance surrounding sexual assault in Quebec, the CAVAC helpline is available 24/7. Those who may need support can call 1-866-532-2822. Other crisis lines and 24/7 options can be found at The Lifeline Canada.