After the last letter to the Editor, I received some very good and varying feedback to my ideas and wishes for this campus. I fully admit that these aren’t answers or solutions to all the problems we have on campus. If I wanted to do that, I would need a publishing deal to go into as much detail as I could. Instead the purpose is to get you involved in thinking of solutions, and to get you to comment and start discussions, something this campus is seriously lacking. Feel free to comment, or email me at Peter@utmsu.ca. I will actually respond with a personal message not written by my assistant. (Man, I want an assistant!) So—jumping right into the next five things I think would benefit UTM.
GROUP CAMPUS EVENTS
We have clubs, we have a student union, we have a residence council, and we have an athletic council. But what we are lacking is cohesion. It would be amazing to see UTMAC and UTMSU throw together some sweet events. You know, like bringing people out to sporting events, showing support for our student athletes. What better way to raise spirit and support for your campus then by raising the support and spirit of your athletes? Raptor tickets are great, but UTMSU,… post a schedule of UTM sporting events! Or have a bunch of clubs get together for a cause.
Coalition for Haiti and Coalition for Pakistan are great examples of what happens when clubs get together. Or have clubs get together for other events. Why does UTM think that pub nights are the only social events we can have on campus?
Froshweek is amazing for the first-year students and the leaders who help them. But I can’t help but long for the days when we were FROSH. Why can’t we upper-years have an awesome event like that? Sure, sure, downtown has tried to host homecoming for the last two year. Currently renamed blue and white spirit week, this week has the same idea as homecoming—just a different name. But it lacked organization and the feel that ahomecoming should have. First week of October, imagine walking by the Blind Duck, seeing huge grills pumping out food, UTM Hip Hop Union, UTM Music Club and CFRE hosting a concert on South Building Hill. And after the concert, going to the Blind Duck for a pub night. Or consider having a week of academic societies duelling it out for supremacy in frosh-esque games. Or having UTM vs another college in rugby or football, with a huge tailgate party in lot 8! Just writing that gave me goosebumps.
Nine out of 10 times, when students are asked about food diversity on campus, we demand more. To help with our food diversity issues, we have been blessed with a new coffee shop, Second Cup in South building. The new Instructional Centre is also rumoured to have a self-serve Tim Hortons. So the administration is listening to our requests for more food options by supplementing our two Tim Hortons and our Starbucks with a Second Cupand another Tim Hortons. The South Building is also rumoured to be getting a new food court in the very near future. However, we need more healthy food on campus—more unhealthy food as well—and longer hours would also help, but quality food is the real issue. We are students, we are health-conscious, but sometimes we just want that greasy hamburger or tasty spring roll as midnight closes in the night before a midterm. It would be even better if one of our 300 coffee joints sold coffee in the early morning so we don’t have to leave studying to get it.
BLIND DUCK HOURS AND EVENTS
After ranting about longer hours, it’s logical to look at the Blind Duck, The Blind Duck should be the centre of campus life. Other campuses pubs host retro nights every Tuesdays, with drink specials. With our lack of Student lounge space, the pub should fill this void. Projecting football (soccer games), football (the real one), and hockey games, as well as having longer hours with deals on pitchers, would probably increase profits since people eat when they drink. Hosting pub nights with lower drink costs would also increase attendance. On Thursdays, daytime DJing outside the pub would draw people in. Or CFRE could broadcast from the pub for an all-request show on Mondays. Remember St. Patty’s day, how packed and full of life the pub and campus were? Yeah, that’s what alcohol combined with university students does! I don’t remember seeing any out of control riots or super-drunks.
POLITICS AT THE DOOR
Not everything is a student issue. Please, please, please do not bring politics to every event possible. Is nothing sacred? I don’t want to hear about the Drop Fees campaign when I am on a bus to Niagara Falls for Screamers. In the last three years I have noticed that UTMSU is a political beast by nature. But do we want to hear about it as we are getting sandwiches at an exam destressor event No, we want tasty sandwiches. Just as there are rules like “no politics ot religion at the dinner table”, there should be no politics at something like first pub or other social events.
Heaven forbid that at the beginning of our lectures our prof should start teaching instead of letting us hear about something we don’t care about.
Raising money for a cause: acceptable; raising awareness for a campaign: not so much. There have to be better ways of getting the message out.
… But I stand by my stance that the fact that Starbucks closes at 3 p.m. on Fridays is a student issue, and action must be taken!
There we go. We have gotten to 10 things I wish our campus had; let’s see how many more we can get. Again, I beg that you disagree with some or all my recommendations. I would love to get the chance to defend them or change them depending on what you have to say. Make your own suggestions and give me some input. Tell me what you like—tell me I am stupid, anything. I’m a big boy, I can take it. Again, if you have any ideas or suggestions, email them to me.