By Mary Chan
The following is a piece of fiction, although some of us wish it wasn’t.
The University of Calgary hit paydirt last Monday when construction crews struck oil, leading student leaders to call for a tuition freeze and more spending on university programs.
According to Students’ Union President Toby White, the oil was discovered by the crew working beside MacEwan Hall at the Mac Hall expansion site.
"I got this call in my office at 4 p.m. on Monday saying that they’d struck oil," said White. "At first I couldn’t believe it, but then [SU VP External] Duncan Wojtaszek came in looking slicker than usual and I knew it was true."
Though the site is designated for the new SU building, the land belongs to the university, therefore the university owns the oil.
"We’ve tapped into quite a large deposit," said University of Calgary President Dr. Terry White. "Our experts, geology profs who did the analysis for free because we offered them tenure, say there could be enough for over 10 years."
White-the-administrator added that the university had been investigating this form of funding for several years.
"All those pointless construction projects were just an excuse to go digging," said the White with the Ph.D. "A new Information and Communications Technology building? Ha! We just made up that term so the province would give us money."
The university plans to put its own oil derrick at the site to begin pumping oil as early as next week. With the price of oil as high as $35 a barrel, the Toby-licious White hopes administration starts spending soon.
"We’re in negotiations with the budget committee about several pecuniary initiatives, including putting a freeze on tuition and funnelling more funding into basic academic programs," said the younger and cuter (though not less verbose) White.
Student reaction was mixed. While some were pleased the U of C now has an independent source of income, others were concerned about environmental impact.
"I feel kind of dirty getting money from a harmful, non-renewable resource," said fourth-year ecology student Cory Matheson. "But, well, I have to work at Starbucks to pay for my tuition, and nothing’s dirtier than that."
Matheson did have one dominant concern.
"Now expansion’s never going to happen," he lamented.