Last Words: UBC – Allard, super sustainability and the fate of the SUB

University of British Columbia -- Allard?

After a $30 million donation by alum Peter Allard, UBC’s Law school has been officially renamed as the Peter A. Allard School of Law.

While $30 million is a sum of money that is too large for most of us to even picture in our heads and students and faculty will benefit from it in ways that faculties like Arts and Science will never know, we still think it’s pretty funny that the law school’s entire existence has been so clearly consumed by one alum. There is, after all, Allard Hall, the Allard Prize for International Integrity and now the whole freaking faculty in his name. Allard’s generosity and love of legal justice aside, it looks as though the law school will soon run out of ways to honour him. Now that the faculty itself bears his name, we wonder what the next steps will be should Allard decide to make another donation. University of British Columbia -- Allard?

UBC Sustainability stats are promising

UBC Sustainability has released their annual report -- and the results are promising.

As always, there's more that can be done -- but don't misunderstand that notion for pessimism. UBC's efforts to create a more sustainable campus and student body are admirable and something of which we can be proud. We've seen some pretty substantial improvements in terms of tangible effects of sustainability -- water use, greenhouse gas emissions and all that kind of stuff -- but the most notable ones are those that might not be easily recorded on paper.

It seems to us that UBC students are developing increasingly sustainable mindsets and frameworks of thought. Sustainability -- whether it's taking shorter showers or recycling bottles and coffee cups -- is becoming second nature for many UBC denizens. If we really want to make a dent in making the world a greener place, these efforts are on the right track.

The success that UBC Sustainability and student-run groups like Common Energy have had so far is encouraging, and seems to suggest that taking a more grassroots approach and actually engaging students with campaigns like Ripple Effect or Do it in the Dark is just as important as broad, university-wide policy decisions.

The AMS doesn't control the fate of the SUB

The AMS seems to be of the mindset that they will have a fair bit of influence regarding what happens in the SUB after they cede control to the university. In reality, though, UBC can do absolutely anything they want.

Sure, university officials may take into account the AMS' advice -- to keep the building as a student space, for example. But if UBC wants to turn the building in a research facility, or another welcome centre, or offices, there's nothing that the AMS -- and most likely students -- can do about it. Even if UBC goes through a consultation process, there's nothing to guarantee that it won't be as much or more of a show trial than the tuition consultation.