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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Henderson Head Slap

There is a sound I make when, having just arrived home from work on a Saturday afternoon and sat down on the couch, frazzled and tired from another retail grind and subway commute the Lady will, say, ask me to take down a load of laundry.

Not quite a sigh, not quite a grunt, more of a huff. It is the sound of someone should have seen it coming, but is no less irritated when it arrives.

It is the sound I made when I saw Gord's column today. Three guesses what it's about? The first two don't count, and the third has to rhyme with shmengineering filling.

Obviously he mourns the lost opportunity he was dreaming for, mocking our stupidity compared to Waterloo, which opened a satellite campus in Cambridge and his former alma mater Ryerson [proof positive a JD won't make you a better journalist], which recently bought up a bunch of properties on Yonge Street here in Toronto.

Interesting Factoids:
Current enrollment of Waterloo - approx. 27,000
Current enrollment of Ryerson - approx. 26,000
Current enrollment of Windsor - approx. 16,000

Now you would think, Windsor, that of course larger schools with an extra 10,000 students' worth of tuition money at their disposal would be more inclined to risky moves like these, and that a smaller sized campus desperate for some of those students who are already going to schools like Ryerson and Waterloo, should keep everything as centralized as possible, to create the sort of intimate learning environment they can't find in their hometowns.

*listens* Ah, is that the sound of the St. Clair example getting whipped out? People, have you been to the St. Clair campus? Of course they'd take the offer. Why? Because the two coffee shops downtown are still better than an acre of vacant field and residential areas.

Besides, programs at St. Clair are so insulated and demand so little in the way of elective classes, you can put the whole program in another building and never have a reason to go back to the main campus. The same can not be said of university programs of study. In my journo program I took courses in at most, five rooms in two years. In one semester during my undergrad, I might have to bounce between buildings three times in an afternoon to attend my major and elective courses. And now you want to shuffle in a downtown campus?

As far as the reputation, I'd argue that the university's reputation is as much a product of the city it's in than any students that have graduated from it.

This is not me going all Toronto and ragging on you, Windsor, you know I will always love you. But the fact remains, there are millions of people in this country, and judging from the people I've encountered here, thousands in Ontario who have no idea you exist. And if Gord thinks any of those Toronto students, would decide to uproot themselves and come here after getting a peek at the glorious new engineering campus smack dab in the crumbling ruins of downtown, he's further deluded than I thought.

So Gord, while you and Larry Horowitz are comforting each other, try to remember the point's the same it's always been: give the students a downtown worth staying in, maybe then somebody will have a serious talk about campuses.

The one good thing is that he'll hopefully turn his foamy vengeance at the border issue and we won't have to hear him bitch about this again. Yet, I doubt it.

For just refusing. to. let. it. die., Gord gets a respectable 4/5.

For The Lance's modest proposal on this issue, peep this article.

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