Mo shùile togam suas
'I will lift up my eyes'
- translation of the official University of Calgary motto, from Gaelic
of Calgary is a research and teaching institution located in the city of Calgary
. It is found between 24th Avenue NW and 32nd Avenue NW, to the west of Crowchild Trail. I believe the western border of University Land is Shaginappi Trail, however the University has yet to expand nearly that far west. Easiest way to get there is to hop on the C-Train
, headed NW, and get off at the University station.
Under the guidance of new President Harvey Weingarten, the University seems to be taking a new approaching, attempting to make its name as a world class research institution.
That being said, it has already made its name in several areas. In particular, its Engineering, Management, and Kinesiology programs are quite excellent.
The Kinesiology program benefited greatly, gaining some world class facilities in preparation for the 1988 Olympic Winter games hosted by Calgary. In particular, one outstanding building is the Olympic Oval, which was where the Speed Skating competition was held. And it is still the choice training facility for a number of Olympic Speed Skating teams. I have a friend who would go down and watch them train during the day when he was bored between classes.
It's a pretty good school, the professors are good and all. The only real complaint is I have is with the attitude in the students attending. I'm not sure where I read this, but I think about 80% of the students live with their family in the city. This tends to lead to people who just show up for class, and then leave right afterwards. Student apathy is rampant here. No one really cares about stuff that goes on. But eh, whatever, who cares?
Now where was I? Oh yes, the University
A Brief History of the University of Calgary
The roots of the University of Calgary came when the University of Alberta established a branch in Calgary, at the site where SAIT currently is. At the time, they offered Education, Arts, Sciences, Commerce, and Engineering. Growing enrollment throughout the 1950's created demand for a larger campus. So, in 1958 the province began construction.
The first buildings erected at the University of Alberta at Calgary (UAC) were the Arts and Education Building (Currently the Administration Building), and the Science and Engineering Building (Currently Science A).
At the beginning of the 1960's, there was a strong movement among students and faculty to sever ties with the University of Alberta, and to become a fully autonomous institution. It does only make sense, after all, to not have to run administration of a university through an office in Edmonton. After years of lobbying, they got their wish. After a revision to the Universities Act, signed into law by then Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Grant MacEwan, UAC changed its name to the University of Calgary, effective April 1, 1966.
In the meantime, student media had hit the University.
In 1955, students at UAC made the first radio broadcast. The original intent of these transmissions was to "de-mystify" the University experience for a redneck audience. They eventually grew to gain their own spot on the AM dial, instead of just borrowing airtime off other stations in the city, broadcasting at 1580 AM in 1967.
They began broadcasting on FM frequencies in the late 1970's, eventually actually gaining a permanent spot on the FM dial after an application to the CRTC in 1985, and from that point on CJSW has been broadcasting at 90.9 FM
In 1960, the student newspaper, The Gauntlet, was founded by an English student named Maurice Yacowar, who later went on to become Dean of the Faculty of Arts.
The Gauntlet has hardly been free from controversy, from Student's Union election rigging to attempts by the Student's Union to replace them, because they were all Commies. Go read my node under Gauntlet if you wanna know more.
There's also NUTV, whose web page sucks because it doesn't list any of the history behind it. They broadcast Sundays @ 9:00 PM, Tuesdays @ 9:30 PM, and Thursdays @ 9:30 PM, on channel 78.
No one can mention the history of the University of Calgary without mentioning The Den. Founded in 1969, The Den was responsible for getting countless people drunk, a plethora of dropouts, a metric ton worth of vomit, and probably more than a few pregnancies. Up until it was renovated in 2000-2001, it was the dirtiest, dingiest, stickiest, and one of the cheapest drinking holes in the city. It was great. But then they ruined it by making it clean and look good.
Oh yes, and BSD. Bermuda Shorts Day was started in the 1960's when someone wrote on a chalk board in the student's center "Wear Bermuda Shorts Tomorrow," on the 2nd last day of classes. Eventually, the last day of classes has turned into a massive party embroiling almost everyone on campus.
For the time that I've been going there, we've been having the "Annual Tom Tait Canadian Couch Classic." Thought up by one of my Fraternity brothers, we take a bunch of couches, drag them to the lawn of a neighbour’s house, and start the drinking at about 8:00 AM. Yes, even in 2000, when it was snowing fairly heavily for BSD. Nothing gets you weirder looks than sitting on couches outside, in the snow, wearing toques, gloves, jackets, and drinking ice cold (Yes, actually ice cold!) Canadian. 'twas fun.
Last, and least importantly, although I've already mentioned them, is the University of Calgary Student's Union. It's an organization that does run a number of important programs, however most of these could be run through administration. Most of the rest of the stuff they do is various cultural awareness weeks, or halfhearted attempts to get students involved on campus. Sometimes this works, oftentimes it doesn't. Oh, and there's also our involvement in various lobby groups, to try n' get us a better education from the government. That's fairly worthwhile, and I'm not just saying this because my friend Nick is the VP External.
They were the ones responsible for
ruining renovating the Den.
Oh yeah, and they also built a lot of new buildings, got a few new faculties, unearthed a boulder and plunked it in the middle of campus, got an Athletic mascot and a team name (the Dinos,) a big unnamed metal structure in the middle of campus that everyone calls the Prairie Chicken.
Ok, maybe that wasn't so brief.
The University Nowadays
Uhhhh... yeah. The University has faculties and programs and such, and gives out degrees. Here's a list!
- Faculty of Communication and Culture
- Faculty of Education: This is a two year post graduate program. Why anyone would want to spend an extra two years after graduation just to become a teacher and possibly get paid less is beyond me, but yeah, good for them.
- Faculty of Engineering: This is where I graduated from! They recently changed their name to the Schulich School of Engineering, after some dude who gave them $25 million. I got my degree a year before they did this. I'm glad of that.
- Faculty of Environmental Design: These are all Graduate Studies.
- Faculty of Fine Arts
- Faculty of Humanities
- Faculty of Kinesiology: As mentioned earlier, the Kinesiology program at the U of C is excellent, plus they have really nice facilities. If I wasn't a lazy engineer, I'd use them more often.
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Management: The management program is good too, and they got a nice new high-tech building paid for by various corporations. Lucky Bastards. Also got their name changed to the Haskayne School of Business a couple years back (around 2002 I think). A few years before it happened to the Engineering faculty, but same idea. Some guy gives a lot of money, so let'S name the school after him.
- Faculty of Medicine
- Faculty of Nursing: Both undergrad and graduate studies.
- Faculty of Science
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Faculty of Social Work
The Official University of Calgary Athletics team for any sport are named the Dinos. They play quite a variety of sports, Basketball, Volleyball, Hockey, Soccer, etc. Unfortunately, since this is mostly a commuter campus, not many people pay attention to them. They usually don't do all that well anyways.
Their mascot is Rex, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. He's new. I'm not sure exactly when he showed up, but the mascot used to be Dinnie the Dino. The name of the Den before he was replaced was Dinnie's Den, although they never bothered to replace the sign hanging outside the Den until the renovations.
www.kin.ucalgary.ca/godinos if you want to check them out.
There's a whole wack-load of clubs on campus. They do a wide variety of stuff, from the Religious Clubs promoting spirituality, to the Atheist Club trying to tear that shit down. Almost every faculty has their own organization. Some of them do a lot, like the Engineering Student's Society. Some don't do all that much, like the Law people. If you're interested in something, chances are there's a club for it, and if not, you can always make one. I think you need about 20 members to start one up.
http://www.su.ucalgary.ca/html_1/html/services/club_list.html for the full list.
With 5 Greek organizations on campus, the University of Calgary does have less of a Fraternity presence than many other schools. There are likely two major factors in this. One is the whole commuter campus / students not giving a shit about anything. People are less likely to join a fraternity if they don't care in the least about their school or getting involved. Second is the lack of support from the Student's Union and the Administration. I hear stuff like how UBC is buying million dollar houses on University land for some of their fraternities, and what has the U of C done for us? Well, the SU hasn't tried to kick us off campus completely in a decade or so. That's a nice start.
Despite the fact that, per capita, we do more for the campus than any other group of students, the only status afforded to us by the SU is that of a "limited club." Bah, whatever. So the SU pisses me off.
Anyhow, here's a list of the fraternities on campus:
And yes, I'm a Fiji.
Other Random Stuff:
U of C is Calgary's fourth largest employer, with about 1,900 academic staff, and 2,400 support staff. I'll be one of those, until December 10, 2004.
Buildings on Campus:
I've only had sex
in one of these buildings. Guess which one!
It's an ok school. I liked going here. It usually gets ranked about 14th in the annual MacLean's Magazine survey of Canadian higher education institutions. That's out of 15. Mind you, that's only within the Doctoral / Medical category.
Oh yeah, and tuition was about $4,400 a year in 2004. I honestly don't know what it is now.
The fact I go there