Editorial: Parting shots

By Chris Beauchamp

Editorials at this time of year are always a parting shot fired by the Editor-in-Chief at something they feel like bitching about or an attempt to impart some sort of wisdom on readers as they prepare for a day of drunken merriment at BSD.

I decided to combine the two: nothing fucking changes. This final editorial has been used a few times to attempt to draw the eyes of an often inattentive administration. Quality of education has been a consistent problem. Undergraduate students (or at least those that write Gauntlet editorials) don’t feel like admin is paying enough attention. This hasn’t changed and likely won’t change in the short time we spend at this university as students.

Surveys don’t seem to matter. You can say whatever you want, but there will always be ways to second-guess the numbers, question the methods and selectively read the data.

Protests don’t matter. Apparently they aren’t an effective way of getting administration to listen to what we want (except when they take away our rights to use credit cards — inconvenience just pushes it a little too far), so the Students’ Union abandoned that for writing long reports and setting targets that administration agrees to, but will likely never follow through on.

The problem is that we’re sitting here bitching at our overlords, while at the same time dropping over $5,000 a year into their coffers. The boat is full of potentially devastating water, but there’s always enough effort made to keep it afloat; it’s never gotten bad enough that we’re going to jump ship and take our money with us.

When we finally arrive at our destination on the shore of a new land called the “Real World,” we can do damage by refusing to give to an institution that never seemed like it cared in the first place.

So what does matter? Why am I here? Why are you here? Thankfully, despite being flawed in many ways, there are a lot of great things about the University of Calgary voyage.

The students. I’ve met many more great people and great friends in all manners of different paths than I ever have or likely will again.

The culture. It doesn’t exist in the campus-wide manner that it does at other schools, but the core group of people that are involved care and are having a good time doing it. Unless we significantly increase the number of students who live on campus the U of C will never have the same school spirit as eastern schools like Queens, but we do have people who care and who go out to the Den on Thursday, Dinos games on the weekend and take part in the many clubs on campus.

Finally, the opportunities. Besides giving me a soap box to drunkenly spew belligerence from (such as this Scotch-fueled editorial), the Gauntlet has afforded me many opportunities I don’t believe I would be able to duplicate elsewhere. This is just one of the many avenues students can travel. There’s CJSW and NUTV (U of C is the only campus in Canada to have a volunteer run radio station, television and newspaper and, incase you didn’t know, the media controls what you think, so you really should consider getting involved somehow — also, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for). There’s many varied large and established clubs. And there’s even the Students’ Union. Though they may be a bunch of politicking assholes too focused on debating their election poster sizes and own salaries instead of issues that actually affect students, they’re generally alright people.

School is important, but if you’re not entirely sold on why you’re taking that Poli-Sci or English degree, perhaps you should be out exploring the different paths that the U of C offers. As cheesy as it is, university is what you make it and the majority of that experience is outside of the classroom, outside of the library and not back at home scanning people’s Facebook pages. It’s at club BBQs, the Den on Thursday night, Dinos games, at pubs and coffee shops with your peers and inside the offices of clubs, the Students’ Union and the Gauntlet.

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