Community Life Service live-streaming Sochi 2014 games in UCU

Photo by Sabrina Nemis

The University of Ottawa’s student federation may have voted against it, but the Sochi 2014 Olympics are streaming on campus regardless.

Last semester, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) debated whether it should stream this year’s Olympics considering the tension surrounding Russia’s anti-gay legislation. At a Dec. 1 meeting, the Board of Administration ruled against it.

That doesn’t mean students can’t watch the Olympics on campus, though. Community Life Service (CLS) is showing the games in the Jock Turcot University Centre.

Myriam Hugron, a marketing and communications officer for CLS, said the decision was made recently, after the SFUO vote.

“It is for the university to be an inclusive community,” she said. “It was important for us to give students the opportunity to view the Olympics, and for us it’s a question of supporting Canadian athletes by broadcasting them.”

Hugron said CLS was unsure whether live streaming was even feasible due to technological restraints. The International Olympic Committee airs the Olympics, preventing live-streams from the Internet, according to Hugron.

Nicole Desnoyers, vp equity of the SFUO, said she is “disappointed with the U of O for not taking a similar stance” to the student federation.

“The SFUO decided not to engage in the Olympics this year because we stand in solidarity with the queer students on this campus,” she said.

Hugron said the SFUO and CLS maintain a “respectful relationship,” and that the decision to air the Olympics was made independently from the SFUO.

“They voted and came to this agreement, and from what I understand, it was not an easy nor a unanimous decision,” she said. “From our standpoint, it’s an inclusive campus. We celebrate all students, regardless of discrimination, and for us it was a question of supporting our Canadian athletes.”

The games were also aired at 1848, the student bar run by the SFUO. According to vp social Pat Marquis, the bartenders wanted to watch the games, unaware that the BOA had voted against airing them. He said it is being discussed between the SFUO executive and bar staff whether the games will be allowed to be shown there.

Additionally, community advisors at Stanton Residence planned an event to watch the opening ceremonies and have an ice cream social.

Kaitlynne-Rae Landry, president of the Residents’ Association of the University of Ottawa and vp equity candidate in the current SFUO elections, said it was “fairly well-attended.”