Afficio (afˈ  "I affect"

A publication of the winners of the Saint Mary's University Undergraduate Academic Writing Awards.


Volume 4, Issue 1, with papers from 2020, now available online!


Brian Hotson, Director, Writing Centre and Academic Communications

Emma Sylvester and Dr. Lindsey Carmichael


Adjudication Committee:


Dr. Rohini Bannerjee

Modern Languages and Classics


Dr. James Cameron



Dr. Lindsey Carmichael

Editor, Afficio


Dr. Valerie Creelman



Dr. Claudia De Fuentes



Dr. Philip Giles



Dr. Ariel Watson



Dr. Erin Cameron

Environmental Science


Mr. Brian Hotson

Director, Writing Centre and Academic Communications


Dr. Stephanie Morley



Dr. James O’Brien



Dr. Heather Sanderson

Librarian, Information Literacy


Dr. Kathy Singfield

Associate Dean, Curriculum (Science)


Dr. Laura Weir



Jodi-Ann Francis




2020 Afficio Undergraduate Journal

Letter to Justice Brothers
Rebecca Ryan (Social Sciences)
Dear Justice Brothers, I would like to begin this letter by thanking you for reaching out to me for an expert opinion. I would be happy to offer my expertise on your decision on the R. v. Webber (2018) case. On May 24th, 2016, Renee Webber was arrested on various charges related to human trafficking. There were two voir dires in your decision on this case, the first regarding the voluntariness of Webber’s statement to police, and the other regarding whether or not the complainant, M.S., should be allowed to testify behind a screen and have a support person present during her court testimony. At the time of the offences, M.S. was just 16 years old, and therefore her identity was protected by a publication ban. Webber is indicted on various charges under the Criminal Code in relation to the complainant, namely trafficking a person under 18 contrary to Section 279.011; obtaining a material benefit from trafficking contrary to 279.02; procuring a person for sexual services or prostitution contrary to Section 286.3; advertising an offer for sexual services for consideration contrary to Section 284.4; sexual assault and sexual touching against the complainant contrary to Section 271 and 153; uttering threats and assault against the complainant contrary to Section 266 and 264.1; and obstructing the police contrary to Section 129.

Heterogeneous substrate depth supports greater functional diversity with comparable stormwater retention and substrate temperature services to Sedum-dominant green roofs
Terrell Roulston (Science)
This study investigates the potential for spatial heterogeneity in substrate depth as a means to increase coexistence of functionally diverse plant species on green roofs. A treatment with heterogeneous substrate depths of 15 cm ridges alternating with 5 cm furrows was vegetated using hydroseed mixtures of forbs and graminoids on the ridges and pre-vegetated mats with succulent species (Sedum dominant) on the furrows. This was compared to a treatment with homogeneous substrate depth of 10 cm covered with pre-vegetative mats of succulents that is representative of a standard extensive green roof design. Both treatments reached high plant cover and successful coexistence was observed between the different growth forms in the mixed vegetation treatment over two growing seasons. The mixed vegetation treatment performed similar stormwater retention and substrate temperature ecosystem services in comparison to the succulent-only treatment. The hydroseeding method showed potential for use in green roof applications. Future research on the effects of substrate depth and topography and hydroseeding on green roofs on a larger scale is needed to determine the validity of these methods in industrial applications.

Literature on the bevel: The politics and aesthetics of Modernism in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying
Gabriel MacAdam (Humanities)
In “The Ideology of Modernism,” György Lukács defines modernist literature as “anti-realism” (395). For Lukács, the anti-realism of modernist writing is based on the modernist ontological view of humanity that depicts humans in their solitariness and thus solely through their mind and the framework of psychopathology. Lukács argues that modernist ideologies examine the human condition and challenge the existence of humanity through “an escape into nothingness,” which offers a foundationally nihilistic and anti-capitalist political view of the world (402). The politics of modernism, as outlined by Lukács, are rooted in the content of modernist literature and therefore shape the formal characteristics of a text by expressing nihilism and anti-capitalism. As Lukács tells us, “content determines form”; in other words, the aesthetic presentation and textual design directly relates to its intended purpose (396). This particular view of modernism suggests that ideology is the formative principle that underlies style, and, therefore, stylistic technique is dependent upon content. A productive example of this tension between content and form in modernist writing can be found in William Faulkner’s modernist text, As I Lay Dying (1930). In this essay I argue that Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying implements a stream-of-consciousness narrative technique and experimental writing to enrich the political ideas of modernism as set out by Lukács. While As I Lay Dying is ideologically consistent with Lukács’ views, Faulkner nonetheless demonstrates how the ‘ideology of modernism’ contributes to the distinctive realism of modernist writing owing to its unconventional formal characteristics.

Memo: Information for Your “Data Security for Small Business” Presentation
Alexa McMillan (Business)
As you requested, here is the information I gathered for your presentation for the Atlantic Canada Entrepreneurs’ Organization. The purpose of this report is to identify and discuss the main cyber security threats and their potential solutions for your “Lunch & Learn” presentation. You can use this information to prepare your slides for the presentation. This report is based on data-security trade journals and magazines, including KMWorld and Canadian Underwriter. Data security is very important to small businesses. I’ve identified the main threats to cyber security to be human error, technical vulnerabilities, and the theft of personal information. First, I’ll discuss the role of human error in data breaches and how to limit its effects. Next, I’ll describe the role of technical vulnerabilities in cyber security and how to minimize them. Then, I’ll explain how information is stolen and how to keep it safe. A summary of my findings concludes the report.