Million dollar question



Article: Paige Kreutzwieser – Staff Writer

There is one word I would like to use to describe the recent financialdrama that is haunting the U of R reputation. That word starts with “cluster” and ends with something that my mother would likely disownme for using.

But when you realize a $950,000 sign is being built on top of the$380,000 unearned overtime scandal and the newResidence building that is already $9,000,000 over budget, that “cluster” word starts to sound quiteaccurate, right Mom?

The logistics is that the money for this million-dollar sign does notcome from the university’s operating budget, but rather their capitalbudget. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful ourtuition isn’t going up because of this “aesthetic” choice.

This idea for a sign came from a recent survey where studentscomplained about the difficulty of finding your way around theuniversity.
Well fear no more fellow students, you now have lovely giant stainlesssteel letters to tell you “No, no, you’re not in the wrong place.You’re correct. This is the University of Regina.”

Now I’m all about improving the looks of our extremely outdated placeof studies, but forgive me when I don’t understand how student’scomplained about it being difficult to get around.

We all know the university is a giant circle right?

That if you don’t want to, you likely don’t have to even step a foot outsideto get where you want to go?That if you get lost, and you kept walking, it’s inevitable thatyou’ll eventually come to the building you need?

Truthfully, getting lost is a necessary part of the universityexperience. Not knowing where you’re going is classic first yearinitiation.

How many laughs have I had walking into a classroom, realizing thatnot only is it the completely wrong room, but the completely wrongbuilding as well? Too many to count. But that’s just part of thenatural life of a student – or maybe just my life.

And if we are going to talk about the most confusing part of theentire University of Regina experience, parking wins hands down.

I’d rather not have to drive around for 20 minutes trying to find aparking spot than have to be reminded every time I circle around theschool that I am at the U of R.

And why not just condense the sign down to just “U of R,” then maybe that extracouple bucks could have been tossed into renovating the bathrooms inthe Ed building? Or how about even a sign for the sign-less FirstNations University? Or how about some more computers for the librarysince every time I go in there they are all taken up? Or how about asafer cross walk across Wascana Parkway for all of us who have to walkfrom our parking spot a couple kilometers away?

All that being said, much of what I suggested likely has its ownfinancial issues involved and many of these wouldn’t be funded fromthe same budget as the sign.

It’s unavoidable that university could needs a facelift and theadministrative choice to make it practical is phenomenal, but is thisyear really the best time to be doing it?

Our university is missing something if they think the students’greatest need for the future is an easier way to get around. All thissign seems to be doing is just enhancing the “cluster.”

1 comment

  1. John Klein 17 October, 2013 at 16:59

    I enjoyed this article. About a dozen fellow employees, and the UR Sustainability Club submitted an alternate proposal to the new sign. Our budget was $200,000. It included an awesome solar array like none the Parkway has ever seen. It would have been an awesome landmark for our “Clean Energy Research” university. It would have been cost neutral after many years, since the power it produces could be sold to offset the capital cost. It would benefit students wanting to do research into renewable solar power technology.
    I’m a little disappointed that the project is costing almost 5 times as much, and doesn’t further our research into renewable energy.
    The proposal also included an option for a sign to FNUniv., as you also thought of.

Comments are closed.