I imagine this will be the first part of my final post on nwontario.blogspot.com, unless Steve fails to change his password, in which case I will likely appear from time to time to make fart noises in print.
In the past month of my life, I’ve received two phone calls from Queen’s Telefundraising (QTS). Both times, I happened to be driving, and ended the call almost immediately, as in the sample conversation below:
Stella: Hi! My name is Stella, and I’m calling from Queen’s Telefundraising. Is this Jon?
Jon: Yes, great! How are you?
Stella: Good, thanks for asking. The reason I’m calling is to talk to you about [some opportunity to donate.]
Jon: That’s fantastic, and I do want to talk to you, but… are you from Toronto?
Stella: No, I’m not.
Jon: Okay, do you know where the Gardiner Expressway is?
Jon: Okay, I’m on the Gardiner, and the longer I talk to you, the bigger the chance I’m going to die in a fiery collision. Can you call back?
Thing is, I really do want them to call back. You see, I have a plan.
Speaking of money – the university is going to try and convince you that they don’t have any. They are lying. When you see over-stuffed classes and residences, you’ll be tempted to believe them. They do this so that you will call home and tell your parents how poor your university is, so that they’re ripe for Queen’s Telemarketing. But during the course of your student career, you’ll watch about three dozen brand new buildings be erected, probably at the cost of millions apiece. “Oh, but that’s different money,” they’ll say. Bullshit. Different money? Is this a university, or some kind of fucked-up strategy game? “Oh shit, we’ve run out of gold and gems to pay for new professors. Thank goodness we have timber and oil to erect new buildings!” Fuck you, Queen’s, you have plenty of money.
I think he said it very well, and I don’t have a lot to add. In my time at Queen’s, I saw professorships lost, courses trimmed, and entirely programs in jeopardy. I also saw the university commit itself to a $230 million monstrosity which is, to date, at least 30% over budget. I refuse to feed the beast that can’t figure out its priorities.
Necessary back-story: I used to work at QTS, as a hapless second-year undergraduate student.
So what’s the plan? Stand by for part 2.