By Dale Miller
With the Gauntlet‘s 2 a.m. deadline fast approaching and one final editorial to write, I find myself scrolling through the swan songs of editors past, feeling a little nostalgia, a little deja vu, and a strong urge to bitch one last time.
The main theme from year to year is a plea to the university’s president to pay more attention to students. Students were unhappy in the past, and they’re unhappy now–perhaps that’s the way students are. Like giving diamonds to a battered girlfriend, giving students who want better teaching new technoplex buildings is just ignoring the problem. The solution: stop beating the shit out of undergraduate students and claiming they fell down the stairs.
It’s a good thing that the U of C is catching the windfall of Alberta’s oil wealth and turning itself into a tech research mini-giant, but administration can’t keep ignoring the fact that undergrads–who make up the vast majority of the U of C’s students–get more out of good teachers than good researchers.
Administration’s statement that the Digital Library will be the new heart of campus is disturbingly true. However, the U of C needs to realize that the heart of a university campus is the students, professors and people who make the place run, not some building full of adding machines. When students graduate and move on they won’t be remembering the kick ass building where they studied, they’ll be remembering that kick ass political theory professor who changed the way they looked at the world. Hunt down the great teachers and do everything you can to keep them. It doesn’t matter whether they publish or not–if they inspire students, they’re needed.
After six years spent at the U of C and four spent commenting on it at the Gauntlet, I find myself with little left to say. However, to the Gauntlet will say one more thing: good luck next year, I hear the new guy’s a real asshole.