Last Words: The SUB stinks, survey concerns and public gay literature

Public gay lit is a public service

UBC Library is now in possession of two rare gay novels -- which is awesome. However, much like the acquisition of the famed Videomatica collection by the library last year, students aren't very aware of this momentous addition to our library.

The addition of Teleny and Des Grieux will allow students, scholars and the public to access and study the emergence and development of homoerotic literature -- which has been clouded in mystery for some time. Not only that, but UBC is the first university to house these novels. All other copies of these rare artifacts are owned and housed by private collectors, and one copy of the Teleny exists at the British Museum.

As students of one of a major research university we should celebrate the fact that our school has go through such efforts to acquire and house rare and famous artifacts like the Teleny and Des Grieux novels.

Compost doesn't have to smell like garbage

Have you ever noticed how the basement of the SUB smells like rotting garbage? So have we. As a group of students who practically live in the basement of the SUB, we've come to know all of the different smells that have passed through. But this garbage stench has been around since the AMS installed their new composter.

And while maybe we shouldn't be complaining too much, given the disarray of our own office, the smell coming from the garbage room in the SUB is off putting. Our office, as well as a major eating area, is only a few dozen feet down the hall.

We understand that the composter is working with rotting food. We really do appreciate what it's doing for the environment, too. The problem is that, for an apparently air-sealed container, it's not doing its job very well. If this is some new scheme to get students to stop using the SUB, it's working. With any luck we'll get used to it by the end of the week.

AMS survey reveals a major problem

The results of the AMS’s recent student academic experience survey show that students, particularly women and those who identified as ‘other’ for their gender, have been feeling significantly less safe on campus at night over the course of the 2013-2014 year. While such results are hardly surprising given that the sexist Sauder Frosh cheer and string of sexual assaults on campus all took place within a few months of each other, it also takes seeing the numbers laid out in such plain terms to really understand that a large portion of students are feeling unsafe during the time they spend at UBC. And that is unacceptable.

The survey put forth several recommendations to make sure the results are acted upon (such as examining the position of the new sexual assault counsellor, who was only hired for one year to follow the cheer), but there clearly needs to be more done by the university on a continual basis. As the initial shock and press coverage of last year’s events wear off, it is important that UBC still takes active steps to make campus a safer place for all students not just through words, but through actions.