The Dingbat: What UBC could do with $70 million instead of buying land in Surrey

UBC just bought a slab of land in Surrey for $70 million. Yeah… Surrey. The city with a lower Maclean’s ranking than both Edmonton and Winnipeg. Embarrassing. Meanwhile, I have $14.97 in my bank account.

What the fuck. Almost 40 per cent of students face food insecurity, tuition rates are rising (during a pandemic, too!) and students struggle to find housing in a crowded market every year.

$70 million could help to alleviate many of these issues, so why waste money on frivolous things? I mean, if you can afford real estate in the Lower Mainland, that's sick, but I can’t help but wonder what things UBC could have done with $70 million instead of buying land in Surrey.

Waterslides in (almost) every residence

Walking to class sucks.

Every day I wake up, trek from Totem Park to the Hennings building and then go back to live in my shitty, cold and haunted dorm. But housing could make things cool and quirky by breaking up the monotony in my sad, little life by installing transportation waterslides at almost every residence across campus!

Orchard Commons? Water slide (which would allow for easy escape when your fire alarm is pulled).

Marine Drive? Water slide.

Exchange? No water slide for you. You already have the bus loop. Don’t be greedy.

You can take the slide to Buchanan, Wreck Beach or even all the way to Whistler (with a transfer to a pneumatic tube to shoot you uphill). While all these loser commuters will be walking to class, I’ll be sliding my way there. Jealous? You should be.

Walking and biking are boring. Slide instead!

Birthday gifts for every student

Birthdays are a big part of everyday life.

Cake, presents and the realization that you’re a twenty-something English major who will never be able to buy a house because the Vancouver housing market hates you what more could you ask for?

But, what if I told you that I have a way to make your birthday super fun and special and not spoiled by the cold, hard truth that you’ll just live in your seven person Dunbar house share for the rest of your life and collectively raise a child with your roommates because that’s the only way you can afford to have kids in this economy?

Hear me out.

There are almost 70,000 students at UBC, across both campuses. And all 70,000 of us have birthdays. If we take that cool, cool 70-mil and divide that by the 70 grand of us, you get what?

1000 smackeroonies!

Happy birthday, my friend!

You get a grand! And you get a grand! And you get a grand! And if I don’t receive a big, fat cheque with a handwritten letter from my bestie himself, Santa J. Ono, I’ll be so upset. I might even decide to transfer to SFU. #NotMyPresident.

I guess a campus in Surrey is a good enough birthday present. It’s not a thousand dollars (that will ultimately go towards tuition, food or rent), though. Happy birthday to me, I guess.


All this money could have led to a special new faculty with a fun/funky/fresh degree option: the BBees! Oh, you’ve never heard of it? It’s a Bachelor’s degree in Bees and Bee Studies.

This immersive major will take you through critiquing the Bee Movie (killing two birds with one stone because your communally-raised kid will also want to watch it with you), learning about the impacts of honey production and about why bees are superior to any other stinging insect.

Move over, Wasp Studies. Bee Studies is coming for your gig!

Unfortunately, this program won’t be offered on the Okanagan campus at first, but I’m pretty sure that the popularity of the BBees program will allow it to spread to UBCO!

Hey, it might even spread to the Surrey campus.

If UBC just returns the land, maybe they could stop raising tuition, or build more affordable housing or maybe even mediate food insecurity on campus I mean, they’ll have $70 million back in their pocket. Truthfully, I don't know what the return policy for Surrey land acquisition is, but it hasn’t been 30 days yet and I really need that $1000.00 to take care of my child (who’s also my eighth roommate).

The Dingbat is The Ubyssey’s humour section. You can send pitches or completed pieces to