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Substance vs. flair: the U of R’s dilemma

Author: matt wincherauk | Editor in Chief

University of Regina

 

This past semester, the Carillon took their fair share of jabs against the University of Regina administration for their questionable spending, inability to maintain their buildings and out of whack priorities when it comes to our school. I have been at the frontline making my feelings toward our administration well known, but I do realize when there are honest attempts to improve our school, and when they’re not getting the help that they desperately need from the provincial government.

It’s a frustrating reality that the thing that matters most right now is making the University of Regina a more attractive school on the outside rather than focusing on improving the things that really matter – rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, creating an acceptable living environment for those in the new residence buildings, and trying to lower tuition for students. The majority of student ire has been drawn by the U of R administration, but seeing the school’s funding being pulled by the Government of Saskatchewan should show that the problem runs deeper than just Vianne Timmons and the rest of her administration.

To the U of R administration and the provincial government, the business of our school and its place in the university rankings across Canada is more important than the actual educational impact that it provides. It’s vexing seeing the lack of effort being put into the educational side of the University, especially knowing the quality of the students and faculty here.

While I’m sure the University administration would disagree with me, I don’t believe that signs and other sexy, outward projects are the best way to attract students, and more business to our school. Sure, having a new sign is nice, and adding a dining hall is great and all, but it doesn’t really add anything to the university experience. You know what would make an impact, and make students want to come here? More unique courses and programs being offered. Instead of taking money away from certain programs, give them more room to spread their wings and be unique and interesting. While the University advocates for flair, I would advocate for substance. Make the educational side of the University of Regina more appealing to students.

Finally, in regards to the questions on everyone student’s mind, at this point in my university career, I’ve accepted that rising tuition rates are something that probably will not change. This is less of an indictment against the University, but rather against the student population and URSU. Part of the reason why tuition rates continue to rise is because the majority of people don’t seem to care enough to fight against them.

While the University administration and I might never agree on what the purpose of our institution is, we do both want it to succeed. I believe that the best way to do that is to invest in the students of the University of Regina, rather than a flashy new project to distract everyone from all the problems that the rest of the University is having.

About Matt Wincherauk