InstitutionalOpinion

Tweaks, adjustments & facelifts to improve the U of A

The Gateway fantasizes a lot about power and we’re confident that suggestions like these to improve the U of A will be warmly welcomed by incoming President David Turpin, unlike Indira Samarasekera, who didn’t let our reporters into her office and who will no longer accept our calls.

Decline the Salary

I’m not sure who the powers that be are that decide the president’s salary and benefits. But whoever they are, have they given any thought to the fact that, just maybe, said income doesn’t necessarily have to be as high as it is?

I get it — the president has a tough job. It can’t possibly be easy running the biggest university in the province, and one of the biggest in the country. But when it comes to compensation, I feel like once you get past the quarter-million per year mark, the rest is just extra.

However tempting as it may be to be the recipient of such a massive income, were I president, I would graciously decline the vast majority of it. Rather, I would put it towards other ventures that could really use the funding — like the music department, so they wouldn’t have to cut more and more courses and ensembles each year. Or the renovation of Dewey’s. Or the much-needed removal of Aramark from Lister Centre, to be replaced with a food service that’s actually competent. Or freaking anything.

This university, while deserving of praise for much, is lacking in so many areas. The prime reason for this, of course, is a lack of funding. When there’s so much room for improvement, we simply cannot afford to be giving so much money to a single employee, no matter how important the position. As president, I would see to it that my own material comfort never comes before the quality of education that my university provides, as it seems to regularly under the current administration. How can we pay our administration so much, and yet expect to be taken seriously when we complain about being underfunded? – Riley Samson

Moving Walkways

Wouldn’t the university become a much more convenient place if we had a few moving walkways here and there? Students shouldn’t have to run ridiculous distances between classes in order to be on time. Getting people to exercise is one thing, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of having to be late for class. With a few moving walkways to make traversing long hallways less of a chore, time-pressed students wouldn’t have to worry about running a god-damned marathon on a regular basis.

Not only would moving walkways help get students from Point A to Point B a lot faster, they would also be a partial solution to the widespread epidemic of slow-moving people. People who walk in front of you at a slow and easy pace while refusing to let you pass them is just cruel and unusual punishment. With a moving walkway on one side, you’d have a place clearly designated for high speed traffic. Imagine if there were moving walkways in HUB, then you’d have to worry a lot less about slow people hindering your race against time to deliver your paper to the political science office just before it closes. – Nathan Fung

Socratic Teaching

One of the most effective methods of teaching in the Western tradition is to recline in a dirt toga on public stairs and provoke passers-by into discourse. A recent development in Humanities pedagogy called the Socratic method, while well-intentioned, manages to corrupt Socrates’ original inquisitive purposes. Students who are supposed to dialogue simply aren’t engaged in the modern classroom. What’s more, status impedes professors from asking questions that could undermine their authority while students avoid asking questions for fear of looking foolish. Complacency prevails and institutionalized education is not as effective as it could be.

Elect me president and I promise to revolutionize complacent teaching by making education much more Socratic. Ancient Greek rituals involved sacrifice and the Gods were happier the bigger the sacrifice. I propose to burn down the Humanities building both as a sacrifice and as a symbolic purging of ineffective teaching practice. Without a building, instructors will be forced to teach on the street. The easiest way to do so, they will find, will be to recline on public stairs somewhere. Students, in honour of the Socratic tradition, will follow their favourite instructors onto the street. Since instructors will literally be more down-to-earth, students will not be intimidated by instructors’ pretence and will learn by posing the questions they should.

The best way to improve institutional education is to abolish the institution. As we should have done 2,400 years ago. — Josh Greschner

Fix the SUB Elevators

The first time our incoming president attempts to make his way up to the SU elections office, a shit-maelstrom will arise. So angered will the Turpinator be at the dearth of service that he will immediately renovate the SUB elevator.

No longer will we have to deal with the lethargic drudgery of the journey to RATT. His Excellency Lord Turpin will bring us out of the dark ages, vaulting us and our elevating technology into the 21st century.

In conclusion, I have all faith that Turp-Down-For-What will see a need to fill and it. He’ll put in the Ferrari of ascension devices and save us all from the stairs. – Mitchell Sorensen

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