Thursday, April 13, 2006

And now to divulge the big secret goings-on: mini-riot at the U of R!

The U of R has cut a lot of credit hours from the Federated Colleges (Luther and Campion). Apparently, the various Deans of the Faculties have been allowing Luther and Campion to teach more classes than usual in recent years, which is good for the Faculties because then they can redirect their resources to other classes--like upper level Englishes, for example. But, since the Faculties were teaching less, they should have received less funding from the U of R, but that didn't happen. So, it's been costing the U of R a lot, and they've been negotiating with the Colleges for a few years. Recently, they cut the credit hours, and also unilaterally took away some classes from Luther (article about recent URSU forum on this subject).

Today a group of us concerned students staged a Gandhi-esque protest. Fifteen of us (mixed Luther, Campion, and UR students) stormed the President's office at about 9:30 am. We were going for 8:30 (and I sure was there at 8:15) but had to wait for more people to show up. It was kind of humorous, the secretary held the door open for us, then the door to the president's office was slightly ajar, so we just walked in and sat down on the floor. The president wasn't there at the moment--we had actually passed him (he was wearing a jogging suit) on our way there. The secretary demanded to know what we were doing, so we gave her our list of goals. She said the president was off-campus.

So we sat around for a while and played some games (I won the poker match), until the VP Admin--Kathryn Laurin, coincidentally past Dean of Fine Arts, as well as director of UR Chamber Singers when I was in it, and National Youth Choir the summer I was in it--came and sat with us. We ignored her for about half an hour, and kept playing games, then someone thought to ask her what she thought about our goals. Then there was a lot of debate for about an hour, and of course I had to go and rant at her about required English classes not being offered. Actually, I thought she made a lot of good points. At least she didn't say "I hear what you're saying, and I take it to heart," like that lady from Security always says--coincidentally, she showed up too(I guess it's not so coincidental that the head of security would show up, but she wasn't overly pleased to see us Luther crew there, since we've recently been hassling her about vehicle vandalism).

Eventually, they proposed to set up a meeting with the president on Monday whenever we wanted, with the only requirements being that we had to leave the office and there would be no press at the meeting. It was surprisingly well organized. Two people on the "outside" organized press releases, and apparently reporters were trying to get in but the whole floor was swarming with security--probably letting all our cars get stolen in the meantime--and they wouldn't let them in. We had a good ten-minute debate on whether or not to accept the proposal, and Kevin (who, I believe, was the key instigator. He did most of the organizing, anyway.) was all for staying until our demands were met. I highly doubt that the president--if he had been there--would have just said "Oh sure, we'll just go ahead and restore all those credit hours to the colleges right now). Just as we were accepting the proposal, someone from a TV station called my cellphone, but I ignored it like the Britons. Leader Post did get pictures of us as we left the office, and Nelson Bird (of Indigenous Circle) came and talked to us as we convened in the Ad-Hum pit below.

The best part: while we were chatting in the pit after, and after the reporters had left, the president of Luther (Bruce) and a plethora of other Luther staff (Residence staff, the Luther chaplain, etc.) came with water bottles and cookies, and cameras. Bruce was all smiles--he had just been told about it by one of the outsiders and was very, very proud of us.

I was hoping for more of a riot, you know, with a couple bulldozers or tanks and some public stonings and maybe sledgehammers bashing the walls. I'm pretty into protests. I think I'll start staging them all the time, on my own if necessary.

Here's all 15 of us in the elevator:

Settling into the president's office:

VP Admin looking bored in the background (right beside me(hidden)):

Leaving the office (actually, pausing for a photo op for a Leader Post photographer):

Disgruntled-looking security guard:

Well, I'm done being political for the day. So, maybe I'll go to the meeting on Monday. Or maybe I'll study for one or more of the finals I have to write Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

In other news:

At the English class windup last night, we played the Lord of the Rings Two Towers board game. It's actually not a game, but a re-enactment of the movie. You have to pick up each card in order, and they say things like "If Gimli picks up this card, move Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Gandalf to space #81. Then roll again and move Frodo," and "Gollum must roll 11 in strength to rescue Frodo. All characters must play with Gollum until Frodo is saved." wtf? Nothing game-like about it. Our prof finally insisted on quitting. I might also mention that I was the only person who had ever played that game before. In fact I have all three. Yep, hardcore LOTR fan here. We also got anthologies of all our writing, which brit did an amazing job creating. I was just a little surprised that a section of writing I submitted for it was cut, especially since I definitely submitted the least amount of anybody else in the class. It was my awesome up- the- creek- without- a- paddle joke too.

Last night was also the Luther hot tub party, which means there were two hot tubs directly below my window. The sound came through pretty much as if the window were open, and earplugs didn't help either, so all I could hear all night was "Wooooooo! WOOOOOOO!!!! Hahahahah! boom boom boom boom...Tee hee hee! Wooooooooo!!!! generic dance music WOOOOOOOO- HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" I hate the "wooo." What the fuck is the point of saying "wooooo," idiots. Screaming, rather. And girls are the loudest, highest-pitched, most annoying creatures I can imagine. Pity me for being one. I wish I had some brimstone or poisonous toads to hurl down at them. Well, at least I got a good, solid two hours' sleep before the sit-in.


Anonymous said...

Yay for protesting for relevant causes! I would protest, but well, sfu is such a left-wing school that protesting is a daily event, thus stripping it of any and all integrity and ability to affect change.

i am very very very glad that i no longer live in residence. so glad that i have a quiet suite with a quiet neighbourhood, and 99% of the time am able to have a good night of sleep (barring random personal stupidity).

I come home in five days! whee!!

oh, and happy Holy Thursday and Good Friday! and eventually, Happy Easter as well. But only if you insist.

Anonymous said...

So how come a TV station called your cell phone?


Lapsura said...

Apparently our people on the outside gave all our cellphone numbers to the press, who were trying to get the story by noon (they called at about 11:30).