Laurier wish list

With a new school year upon us, The Cord has compiled
a list of things we would like to see accomplished over the
next eight months. Our wishes reflect what we, as students,
feel are the most important and urgent missing
pieces of the university.

1. Improve Laurier technology:

Will the Internet on campus
ever work? In the past, technology has not been one of
Laurier’s strengths; all the tech savvy individuals in Waterloo
must go to our neighbour down the street. Whether it
is signing up for classes using LORIS, checking one’s WLU
e-mail or trying to find out information about classes on
WEBCT, nothing ever seems to work properly. If one wish
is actualized in the imminent future it should be that the
school not only gets a handle on its current technology
systems, but also takes proactive steps to prepare for problems
and contingencies. Thankfully, with Laurier currently
undergoing a Information Communication and Technology
(ICT) review, this wish appears to be one that is very
likely to become a reality.

2. Ensure environmental sustainability:

A new office to
oversee environmental sustainability has been created
following a referendum passed in the 2009 Wilfrid Laurier
University Students’ Union (WLUSU) elections. Laurier
should make use of the new available resource as every
student will now be contributing five dollars per semester
to ensure Laurier has a “green” campus. Unfortunately, the
recent construction on campus has taken away most of the
already minimal, nevertheless beloved, mature trees and
plants that found a home in what is now the amphitheatre.
Although the grass lining of the concrete sitting area is an
attempt to generate some prospect of nature within the
university space, students know best that an attempt does
not equal success. The second wish is that Laurier utilizes
the new environmental sustainability office to create and
maintain a “green” campus in both practice and aesthetics.

3. Stop excessive growth:

It is becoming ever more apparent
that Laurier is growing at an alarming rate. Each year
the incoming first year class is increasing; this year’s Orientation
Week opening ceremonies is being split into two
groups in order to accommodate all students as the AC is
too small. While Laurier used to guarantee residence for
all first year students, in recent years incoming students
have been bribed with things such as money, laptops, and
lowered rent to sacrifice living space or forfeit residence
altogether. The university is eager to pickup more tuition
checks even when it does not have adequate space for all
students. In doing so, the school is slowly picking away
at the reputation it sells, that Laurier is a small school. In
Laurier’s new 25-year master plan, the university needs to
focus on the Waterloo campus. Students at a satellite campus
are not getting the real Laurier experience, one you can
only get in the city of Waterloo. The third wish is to not forget
that sometimes less is more, so the university should
stop growth, including in other cities.

4. Spend WLUSU fees responsibly:

It seems that as every
year passes, fees go up and up and up and often one forgets
that the opposite is possible. In fact, people look fondly on
those who cut unnecessary fees. Each year several capital
expenditures are undertaken by WLUSU, this years examples
include a $23,000 furniture renewal for the 24 Lounge,
an $11,500 renovation for the Center Spot checkout and the
$110,000 project to open a Williams Coffee Pub Express
in the Terrace. While there is value in these projects individually
in any given year, when taken collectively and
done frequently they add up. Though it may be a long shot:
WLUSU please practice more frugal spending habits.

5. Keep academics a priority during budget cuts:

This year
the university has been forced to cut $8.9 million from
their budget. The government has allowed the university
to defer pension payments for one year; Laurier has chosen
to invest this money in academics while they decide
how to implement a more realistic long-term plan. While
planning for the upcoming budget, the university needs to
ensure that cuts to the courses offered, increases in class
sizes and full-time hiring freezes do not happen. The last
wish is for the university to continue upholding academic
integrity; quality education is the most essential component
to a functioning community, without it everything
else will fail.