Sour Return

Nothing ever changes at the University of Calgary. When it does, it changes at a snail’s pace, buried under the bureaucracy that only a university could create–and the U of C has it’s own special brand.

Given that your campus student newspaper is chock-full of cynics and pessimists, we thought we’d write you a sour welcome back note. Its purpose: to remind you that you attend an institution where very little is perfect and everybody emphasizes the good in a bad situation, a sure sign of problems. You can also think of this is a primer of important things that are going to happen in the next eight months that will affect your life but you’ll actually do very little in response. Perhaps not for our first example, but definitely the latter pair.

The Den has finally reopened. Some of us have already enjoyed its supple ales and beers, and we welcome you to do the same. When you do, make sure you reminisce about the old Den, and the fact that while the new bar is nice–fully equipped with a trough-style urinal in the men’s bathroom–the real thing it is not. We’re not entirely sure when communal urination became a priority for the Students’ Union-owned establishment, but we sure can’t wait until the Thursday in each week rolls around.

Right now, the new Den is actually like rebound sex–it feels great but you know it isn’t quite right. The shine will wear off, and the old-timers on campus will bitch about the good old days, but eventually, they’ll all get settled in. Most will be much happier there’s at least one watering hole on campus after a long, dry and boozeless summer where a
fix is never too far away.

Our plethora of new buildings are still a big, big question mark. MacEwan Hall and MacEwan Student Centre continue to shuffle and the cards have yet to be dealt. While we’ve finally accepted that expansion is happening we’re simultaneously accepting the fact that the new digs are coming in sub-par.

Take the exterior of the new building, gaudily placed in the center of campus for all to see. To those of us less artistically-inclined, the building appears to be a giant Tie fighter straight out of Star Wars. The large, angular side panels render this feeling, although we’ve heard that the look is supposed to emulate the mountains. (This is where we nod, smile and emphasize the good in a bad situation).

Finally, the Gauntlet staff is also looking forward to another year of battling an apathy-riddled student body. This year’s fall by-election looks particularly promising for more apathetic-number touting in the form of low voter turnout. As only a few commissioner positions are up for grabs we think the prospects are… grim. The Gauntlet staff usually sets up a pool to see who can get closest to the voter turnout. History paints a bleak picture. In 1999, Tyler Brekko won an Operations and Finance commissioner position with 163 votes out of 548. In a body of 24,000 students. A stunning 2.2 per cent turnout.

Nothing ever changes at the U of C. When it does, it’s never perfect but maybe that’s what the U of C does best: To teach us that in life, we should expect little and wait for the pleasant surprises.

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