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UBC Reports Jan 30, 1969

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Answers While You Wait
Ten seconds will be a long time to wait for answers on the new IBM 360 Model 67 computer, now in
full operation in UBC's civil engineering building. The main computer, used for research, teaching and
some administrative functions, is also linked to remote terminals in other campus buildings for two-
way "conversations." Programmer Garm Miske is shown below operating the main console of the
machine. Details on pages ten and eleven. letters to the editor
Those of us who genuinely have the interests of
the University at heart will welcome Dr. Ford's timely reminder that control of the public purse should
not be in the hands of the faculty and students. UBC
and universities in general suffer too much from the
malady caused by the tail wagging the dog. Democracy has already been carried too far. The cumbersome process whereby so many decisions are made by
committees has merely reduced the administrative
process to the lowest common denominator. A committee is like a convoy. The speed of convoy is the
speed of the slowest ship in the fleet. The decisions of
a committee are reduced to those that are acceptable
to the majority. Thus progress is stifled.
That faculty and students make up the majority of
those directly concerned with university affairs is all
the more reason to exclude them from the administrative machinery because their voice will be heard in
any case.
What is needed most of all is leadership. Unfortunately those within the administration have been
schooled by years of experience on endless committees into the same passive acceptance of the rule of
the majority. Leadership is not something that is
required only of the president. It must be felt all the
way down the ladder so that the most junior department head responsible for the budget of the odd hundred thousand dollars per year exercises as much
control over how that money is spent as the man at
the top.
There is a great need for all universities to realise
that they are in business for one reason and one
reason alone. To produce graduates. All other functions are of secondary importance to this one goal.
There may be a lot of talk about scholarly research
but the number of professors who produce research
of real value is very small. The bulk of research today
is carried out by business, because business is the only
section of the community which has sufficient control over its own purse strings to be able to afford to
undertake research.
This analogy with business can be carried a step
further. Much as it goes against the grain with
academicians to compare them with a factory, a University is in business to produce graduates. But how
much real regard is paid to the needs of the user of
their products. How much do the users really consider what product they are getting. How much coordination is there between the consumer and the
producer. Coordination is most evident by its
By far the largest consumer of the products of the
University is the business community. Government
departments absorb some graduates, others go into
teaching, some enter the professions (these themselves are becoming more and more like businesses).
Some opt out of society and become artists, poets,
hippies and beachcombers. But the bulk go into business of one form or another, whether it be the bright
young science Ph.D. who is snapped up by the multi-
million dollar chemical corporation, or the arts graduate in the general program who eventually gets a job
as a hotel receptionist.
The consumer, the business community, has in the
past been far too little involved, and given far too
little thought to what he really wants for his dollar. It
is not the Provincial Government or the Faculty
Association or the alumnae or the student body who
should be calling the tune but the business community. But the business community has been most lacking of all in coming forward and specifying the
product that they want. When such approaches have
been made they represent too often the pleas of such
a narrow partisan attitude as to be ridiculed by the
professors. We, says some wealthy businessman,
would like you to put on a course in hyphenated-
basket-making because basketmaking is vital to the
community. Much as faculties try to avoid compromising their standards they are all guilty of cooperating in this pantomine to some extent.
Contrary to what professors generally assume,
there exists outside the University a body of men
very keenly interested in the prosperity and success
of higher education. These men are not only those
who happen to be alumnae of UBC, they may come
from other universities, they may have no degrees
themselves. But they all have two things in common.
' _/UB_ Reports/January 30, 1969
Look for
New President
Inside UBC
Though I happen to be a member of Senate,
it is not in that capacity that I write, but simply
as an interested alumnus.
I ask: Isn't it time that the next President of
UBC comes from within the ranks of UBC?
In asking this question I mean no disrespect
to any of the presidents of the last 25 years, all
of whom were selected from places outside
British Columbia. Obviously Dr. MacKenzie and
Dr. Macdonald were able and competent presidents and Dr. Hare, in his regrettably short
stay, demonstrated qualities of leadership and
scholarship from which the University would
have benefitted.
But at this juncture surely it is a mistake to
go on an extensive recruiting expedition. We
simply cannot afford to spend six months picking a man, and then waiting maybe a year for
him to arrive. When he did arrive he would have
to spend another six months getting the hang of
the place.
The University faces so many problems,
arising from its particular situation in B.C., that
I am convinced we need a man to face them
who knows something about B.C.; who knows
something about the B.C. political scene in particular and who knows something about UBC
students. To get this sort of leader we should
look to our own faculty first.
Without naming names one can think of at
least several men on the campus any one of
whom, if he could be talked into the job, would
make an excellent president.
If it proves impossible to get a man from
UBC, we should look elsewhere in B.C., but
only then should we go outside the Province.
Yours truly,
David R. Williams
First they have made their way in the outside world
by their own initiative and risen to a position of
leadership within their own sphere of activity. And
secondly, they are all users, or potential users of the
products of the University, the university graduate. It
is high time there was closer cooperation between
town and gown.
If the two communities, the world of the university and the world of business, were brought closer
together great benefit could be derived by both. It is
not sufficient to have a few representatives of business on the Board of Governors. At the risk of offending some people these are too often the arch status
seekers in our society. Their link with the university
must be closer than that.
What is required most of all is a reappraisal of
Calendar requirements in terms of what the outside
community wants. By this is meant the real needs of
the community and not the pedantic clamourings of
some small section. The real needs are far more basic
than this, but they get so little attention that they are
literally swamped by the torrent of course offerings
that teach the student only one thing, how to please
their professors. Too often today with growing Ph.D.
requirements this defect is becoming more and more
obvious. The university professor has so little personal knowledge of the outside world that he is at a
loss to know what he should teach his students.
This is not a direct attack on anything in particular
to UBC. All universities are tarred with the same
brush. Of the courses the writer of this article took as
■ ■■A^Bt Volume 15, No. 3-January 30,
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should be addressed to the Information Office, UBC,
Vancouver 8, B.C.
an engineering student at another university the great
majority were of practically no value afterwards. The
more complex and advanced the subject the more this
was true. But even first year courses were often in the
same category. Conversely the subjects that were
pushed into the background and looked down upon
by the faculty often proved to be the most useful
All too often the university graduate finds himself
at a disadvantage in the outside world. He has never
been taught to think for himself. Over and over again
it is found that the most successful businessman is the
one who has not got a university degree. The university graduate is relegated to the secondary position of
card shuffler for the people in between because he is
conditioned to do what he is told. He is not conditioned, as he should have been, to make decisions for
himself. Yet the world has been always short of
leaders and the universities never more so than they
are today.
It is too much to expect a radical change in the
policy of a large provincial university such as UBC,
but at least a start could be made towards getting
stronger leadership from the administration and
better relations between the University and the outside world by bringing the two closer together. Would
it not be possible for the Extension Department to
organise a series of seminars bringing together the two
communities so that each may learn from the other?
It is time we in Vancouver changed our concept of
what a university really is.
Yours truly,
John Crosse
The comments of Dr. Denys Ford in the December
19 issue of "UBC Reports" struck me as rather ironic,
coming as they do from a member of the medical
fraternity. I would respectfully submit that of all
areas mentioned in Dr. Ford's article—medicine, the
military, highway construction, liquor sales, and
education—it is in education where the fewest instances of overt conflict of interest have occurred. Dr.
Ford is preaching to the converted—I suggest he
direct his energies instead toward convincing his
medical colleagues that they do not have the right to
determine their own salaries at public expense.
Yours sincerely,
Michael D. Wallace,
Assistant Professor,
Dept. of Political Science,
The "looming numbers crisis" in institutions of
higher learning within this province have been looked
upon with growing concern. There are probably many
reasons for this crisis, but one of the most important
is that it is self made.
The institutions, whether community colleges or
universities, for the main part have created this
crisis—and for this they should be congratulated. And
I hope the crisis is never solved!
The growing enrollment, amongst other things,
indicates that higher education is now reaching out to
the people. The universities and colleges are offering
to the people the courses that have for so many years
been missing and they are presenting these courses in
a manner acceptable to greater numbers of the
If there is a college or university not enrolling
numbers to their absolute capacity, then I must ask
'What is wrong with the college?' My answer would
be that they are not extending their services to the
In the future all our institutions of higher education must be continually filled to capacity, possibly
even to over capacity. Then we know that the people
of this province have been reached.
Long live the "numbers crisis."
Yours truly,
G. Jones,
Dept. of Political Science,
Vancouver City College THREE
Sandy Robertson, remembered as an outstanding athlete during the 1940's, graduated
from UBC in 1946 with the degree of bachelor of applied science and now heads his own
engineering firm in Vancouver. He has been
active in civic affairs as a commissioner for
the Vancouver Parks Board.
Dr. William D. Finn, 36, has been head of the
UBC civil engineering department since 1964.
He was born and educated in Ireland, where
he topped the graduating class in engineering
on graduation in 1954. He holds the M.Sc.
and Ph.D. degrees from the University of
Fraser Hodge, 22, is currently the president of
the Engineering Undergraduate Society at
UBC. He is now in the final year of a program
leading to the bachelor of applied science degree in civil engineering and expects to
graduate in 1969.
UBC REPORTS: Sandy, can we start with a
comment from you about the 'changing image' of the
university student to the outside world. Our president. Dr. Hare, at a recent news conference, said that
he had received from the 'outside world', as it were, a
great many negative letters about student dissent, and
in some cases cancellations of pledges to the Three-
Universities Capital Fund. As a professional,
practising engineer in the community, do you feel
that anti-university feeling is widespread, and has the
image of the university student of 1969 altered substantially from the image of the university student,
say, in the year that you graduated, 1946?
SANDY ROBERTSON: I would say that in the
last year the image of the student has changed considerably with regard to the downtown businessman's
point of view. For the last 10—20—30 years the business world in B.C. has always been very fortunate to
have a steady supply of first class engineers to incor
porate into the economy. I know that the engineers
that I have hired have been good graduates with a
sound, basic knowledge of engineering. We have been
proud of our UBC graduates and we hope that in
1969 there is not cause to change our assessment.
Unfortunately the overall student image has been
distorted by a small percentage of activists. Whether
or not the engineers are involved in the turmoil is
questionable. I don't see how they can be involved
because I know that an engineering student at UBC
has always been a serious, hardworking student. If the
engineers are not involved I think they should make it
quite clear to the public that study leading to a
modern engineering degree is serious business.
UBC REPORTS: Fraser, how do you feel about
FRASER HODGE: I feel the image the businessman has of the University is rather narrow and based
on misinformation and a lack of understanding of the
problems which higher education faces in B.C. The
attitude that a small minority is causing trouble on
campuses results from frustration—it's an easy way of
coping with an extremely abstract and complex problem. There simply is no concrete, cut-and-dried
Many of the letters Dr. Hare received were based
on the attitude that the University shouldn't get any
further support until it "cleans up its act," as it were.
I like to think of the University as an integral and
essential component of society which will not be rejected when it appeals to the public and told to come
back when it is healthier, in the public's view.
Industry is going to come to the conclusion very
soon that it is destroying itself with pollution and at
that time will probably come to the University for
help. Naturally, it won't expect to be told to "go
away and clean up your pollution problems before
coming to the universities for help." The point I'm
UBC Reports/January 30, 1969/3 FINN: The lack of
buildings threatens
educational standards
trying to make is that what is needed is a conscientious attempt to understand the university and its
role in society. If there are problems on our campuses
today they are the result of frustrations which arise
from inadequacies on every campus. And there are no
signs that things are going to get much better. The
student who goes into engineering is likely to
approach University problems in a more analytical or
rational way, but he is certainly aware of his
UBC REPORTS:  Dr. Finn, what have you to say
to all that.
DR. W.D. FINN: Well, I think it would be unfair
to lump the engineering students with the "activists"
as you call them, and it would also be unfair to separate them completely. Like the activists, the engineering student is conscious of the environment in which
he is studying and working, and he sees that certain
improvements are necessary, and he pushes for them.
To this extent, he must be considered perhaps not an
activist but certainly a concerned member of the University community.
But I think that where there is a sharp distinction
between engineering students and activists is that the
engineer sees an immediate social use or value in his
education. He's not confused about his future role, at
least not in the short run. He is here to become an
engineer, and when he goes out he knows exactly
what an engineer is going to do.
Somebody in a general program in arts may not
have the same sharp career identification. He may
wonder about the relevance of his education; he's
taking subjects which go rather deeply into concepts
of justice and social order, and probably he's drawing
distinctions between what he hears in university and
what he sees outside. This dichotomy, this gap between the two realities, is probably something which
he finds disturbing. This is not something that deeply
disturbs the engineering student. I think the engineering student sees his role in society, but I don't think
for a moment that he is dull or insensitive to the
problems of society, but he sees a role for himself in
helping to solve some of these problems. He doesn't
feel that he's got to overthrow that society.
MR. ROBERTSON: The business man sees the
activists as a group that wants radical changes but in
the irresponsible rush to make these changes they are
destroying things instead of bettering them. I hope
the engineers are active and are seeking changes and
that they are looking for better programs, better ways
of doing things. I also hope that when the engineering
students go about implementing their suggested reforms that they do it in a mature manner.
DR. FINN: Society has always been a little uneasy
when one of its institutions begins to question some
of the basic foundations or tenets of the society that
supports it. The university itself is confused because
it is not certain about it's role either. It seems to
reject a purely vocational role, to reject the idea that
it's there only to turn out engineers, teachers, doctors
and lawyers.
It seems to believe also that it's there for some
other, perhaps even higher, purpose. But it hasn't articulated that purpose yet. There is a tension in the
4/UBC Reports/January 30, 1969
University among professors and students about this
problem, just as there is a tension between the university and society.
Now downtown people deal, or believe they deal,
in hard realities. There is a business to run, you've got
to turn out certain products at a certain cost, there
are production targets. The people who conduct this
rather well-planned, sharply defined activity must
inevitably be impatient with the university, which
doesn't operate in quite the same way, which shows
evidence that it doesn't know where it's going, that
tolerates confusion, perhaps even looks like it's enjoying it, that business couldn't tolerate at all. But
you have to ask yourself if there shouldn't be some
social institutions in which this type of confusion,
this type of tension may, in fact, be tolerated and
even necessary.
UBC REPORTS: Fraser, would you say that campus problems have resulted in problems of employment for UBC engineers?
MR. HODGE: I don't think there's any evidence
of that. There are usually more job offers each year
than there are engineers and UBC graduates are
generally offered salaries above national averages in
their field. Of course, many engineers go on to graduate work at the top schools in the United States, and
they wouldn't be accepted there if they weren't
UBC REPORTS: Sandy, have you anything to add
to that?
MR. ROBERTSON: Our experience is that UBC
graduates are pretty competent. You'll find UBC
engineering graduates developing resources in B.C.
and abroad, and we can be proud of our engineering
faculty at UBC.
UBC REPORTS: Do engineering firms feel the
University is falling down anywhere in the education
of students?
MR. ROBERTSON: I don't think that there is any
real gap. Most companies want an engineer to fit into
a particular spot and you may have to go through
four or five graduates to find the one with the right
interest and disposition to fit the spot, although they
could all be quite competent.
As an employer the thing that worries me most is
the possibility of the engineering faculty standards
slipping because of lack of money for the facilities
and professors required to continue a first class
school. The profession would like to think that everything is progressing well, that our equipment is
modern, that our professors are up-to-date and progressive and that our facilities are such that when
special programs arise there will be enough space to
do it in and enough money to do it right.
One complaint I have always had as an employer is
the lack of the engineer's public relations approach—
his salesmanship qualities. When he leaves university
the first thing he has to do is sell himself to get a job
and when he gets a job he has to sell himself to the
people around him in order to get a promotion. I've
always thought that one of the things that should be
emphasized more is a course in public relations that
would make the student realize that he has to sell
himself and he has to sell his profession.
He should be taking a leading role in society; he
should be taking part in politics. We engineers have a
tendency to be too shy and retiring. I think our new
graduates should come out of school like a tiger cat
ready to sink his teeth into the business world.
Besides his education he needs confidence. I think the
engineering course should teach him this confidence.
DR. FINN: I'm not saying that a professional
engineer shouldn't be a business man, but it seems to
me that a business man who is not a professional
doesn't operate under any code of ethics except his
own moral conscience, whereas a professional man
does have a code of ethics which might sometimes be
in conflict with the canons of business. Well, perhaps
an engineer running a business might find that his
code of ethics might suggest to him that certain behaviour, which would be undesirable to a businessman, should not be indulged in.
You see, one of the things raised by certain students is that we are educating students for the business world, and that perhaps we should be educating
them for citizenship in the world. Now most of us
recognise that you've got to send a person out into
the world ready to make a living, whether it's as a
professional, or somebody with a certain education or
skill that enables him to earn a living. Perhaps some
of these people do have a point, that people who go
through the university and go into the world and
engage in business or any remunerative activity,
should have a dimension to their behaviour that one
would not expect of someone who did not have the
university education. Now, if you're selling engineering services to clients, do you feel that there should
perhaps be some difference in how you do it, compared with the man selling 100,000 pairs of shoes?
MR. ROBERTSON: Well I certainly think that
there has to be ethics involved in the profession. The
code we follow is written to strengthen the profession
as a group and to foster the confidence of the public.
If an engineer leaves the profession to sell 100,000
pairs of shoes he will have to contend with the tricks
of his competitors. However, after his straightforward, logical education I'm sure he will find out
quickly that to stay in business for an extended
period requires the same moral ethic of fairplay as
written for the professional. d
MR. HODGE: On this point of training people for^
the business world vs. educating them for citizenship
in the world, it's my feeling that training to enable
people to make a living is best done in one's formal
education and citizenship education is best derived
from one's personal life and associations with other
people in extracurricular activities. In other words,
we are here primarily to learn engineering and after
that to concern ourselves with sociology and world
citizenship. I think this is a view pretty generally held
by most engineers at UBC.
DR. FINN: One of the discussion topics suggested
for this panel was the question of how the University
should go about improving it's image downtown.
Assuming that we do certain things that are necessary
to society, why is society so dissatisfied? Why does>
society give attention to the superficial disturbances"
and ignore the strong, deep sub-stratum of solid effort at the University? How does one acquaint society
with this solid accomplishment?
MR. ROBERTSON: I think the reason the general
public is confused is because a small group of agitators have made the headlines. These headlines should
be counteracted. Possibly the service clubs would be a
way of just telling people the way things are out here.
I can recall as a student that the Engineers were quite
capable of getting headlines in their own way before.
I'm sure they still are capable of putting themselves
on the record.
HODGE: Engineers could
be more militant
than the activists UBC REPORTS: You would say, then that the
students themselves have a responsibility in this and
that the professional schools have a responsibility to
clear their own name, as it were, with the public.
MR. ROBERTSON: Yes, I think so. I'd be damned
mad if I had been tarred with the same brush as the
radicals. If I were a student, here for an education,
who worked all summer to pay for that education,
and was putting in eight to ten hours a day in classrooms and labs and then going home and studying for
another four hours, I'd be very upset to think the
public considered me part of the unrest that's going
MR. HODGE: Well, once again I have to say that
this sounds like a quick passing of judgement on
those who are labelled troublemakers or radicals.
There is no tarring to be done with any brush; there is
really no group of students any more virtuous than
any other group.
There are, however, variations in the way in which
frustrations common to all students and groups of
students manifest themselves. I can assure you engineers are not good, dedicated students who work eight
to ten hours a day in classrooms and another four or
five hours at night. We are very conscious of the antiquated and obsolete equipment in our labs, the
crowded lecture rooms, the poor quality of some of
the teaching and the difficulty, which I'm sure Dr.
Finn can describe, in attracting qualified people to a
faculty overcrowded and undersupplied in terms of
research facilities.
The engineers and students in other professional
faculties, if and when they decide on the source and
cause of these problems, are potentially the most militant group and could cause more unrest than the
present crew of so-called radicals. The likelihood of
this sort of "mobilization" taking the form advocated
kby the radicals—strikes or sit-ins, for instance—is fair-
"ly small but it is not to be overlooked.
DR. FINN: I wouldn't like to give the impression
that engineering students are holier and more virtuous
than anybody else. I think that they are a very
responsible group of students, helped by the fact that
they know exactly why they're here and what they
want to do. But they do share the concern of other
groups on campus that some changes are necessary
here. And the changes that engineering students have
been pushing for are reasonable. They want a voice in
matters where they legitimately have something to
say. And they are going about it in a very businesslike
way—they've made representations to the dean and to
the faculty, and they've given us time to think about
them, and some action is being taken.
But there are many students on campus who feel
J that the education that they're receiving is irrelevant
to the life that they want to lead, or to society as
they see it. These people also are taxpayers, their
parents are taxpayers as well. I'm not saying that we
should be in the business of catering to individual
taste as opposed to group taste, but I do think these
people are entitled to a hearing, and we should see
what we can do about their requests. Because they're
not insignificant in number.
The real activists, who cause trouble, are insignificant in number, I think, and they would like a freer
form of education. Now if they're willing to accept
the social consequences that go with a so-called
"free" education, in other words the products may
find themselves unemployable, I think society should
consider whether or not it might not accede to some
of their wishes. You know, Canada as a whole, and
the government of Canada in particular, has shown
this kind of sympathy in the past, and some of it
makes you proud to be associated with Canada.
For instance, they gave a $3,000 grant to Joachim
Foikis. Now you can say that's silly and stupid, but
there's something good about a society and a government that can do that kind of thing. And the same
applies to those students who have different aspirations from the rest of us. I think the system should
have enough flexibility to make a reasonable gesture,
a reasonable recognition that other people may have
different needs to ours.
This University, you know, has a solid basis of
achievement, not just in engineering, but in chemistry, science, literature, and it's a pity that this is not
recognised. We've had some of the leading poets in
Canada, for instance, on the faculty, and we've won
the .National Research Council's Steacie Medal four
years out of five.
UBC REPORTS: Dr. Finn, Mr. Robertson has said
there is a general feeling in the profession that the
standards of the  UBC school of engineering are in
danger because of lack of physical facilities. It's public knowledge that the building program for engineering on it's new site has been stopped because there
are no capital funds. How long do you think the
faculty can go on, half at one end of the campus and
half at the other, before there is a decline in the
quality of education?
DR. FINN: We in applied science feel that there is
a real threat to the continuing high standard of education in the faculty because of the lack of new
buildings. By being spread all over campus the morale
of the faculty is beginning to suffer. Rather than
operating as a faculty with a joint responsibility for
professional education in the province we're beginning to act as separate departments scrambling to survive as best we can in rather antiquated and inadequate conditions. There are two departments, electrical and chemical engineering, which are reasonably
well housed. Mechanical engineering is in dire straits,
while civil engineering is in a very unusual position.
We share a building with the Computing Centre.
We've just got a new computer costing over a million
dollars a year, and no one can tell the Computing
Centre that it can't employ this computer to capacity. Now we're in the same building with them, and
we can't accept what might be the fate of a number
of departments, namely that our growth may be
stopped. If we don't get a new building, and computer use continues to grow, we've got only one
option and that is to shrink. So for us it's a very
serious problem in civil engineering.
It's serious in the sense that when I recruit faculty
members, for which I have either budget positions or
research money from outside sources, you have to
give them a promise of a certain career and a certain
development in their field. How can I do that, when I
can't even guarantee that the department can remain
the same size? So this puts me in a very difficult
position when it comes to hiring.
difficulties in recruiting faculty members who are
going to accept posts only at those schools which can
offer them the facilities and funds to get on with
their work.
UBC REPORTS: Dr. Finn, do you have any comment to make on the possibility of a new institution
of higher technology in B.C.?
DR. FINN: First of all, such institutes can be very
successful. Two outstanding examples are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California
Institute of Technology. But I think we might have
some problems in trying to create such an institute.
It's something I would be reluctant to favour unless it
was absolutely necessary, unless the idea was forced
on us by neglect.
The problem I see in creating an institute of this
kind is that there are certain departments whose work
is immediately applicable to the environment—like
civil engineering—and this is precisely because B.C. is
still a pioneering province. But because we have little
secondary industry, society would have to heavily
subsidize the activities of other departments so they
would be available when we arrived at the stage where
they could be incorporated into the activities of society. M.I.T., for instance, has a host of secondary
industries around it, and there's an immediate flow of
research from the institute right into the industry. In
fact, many of the companies are run by professors.
ROBERTSON: We should
make what we  now
have first class
We have tried to look at the needs of British
Columbia in the civil department, and make some
meaningful contribution towards meeting these
needs. Some of the serious problems facing British
Colubmia are problems of pollution of water—rivers
and lakes—due to the primary-type industries that
we're indulging in, the problems of transportation
within the province, the allocation of water resources
between areas of water-surplus and areas of water-
shortage, and the possibility of exporting water to
other areas and other countries. These are problems
which any government of British Columbia would
have to make deicisions which are financially, socially
and politically defensible, and I think that it's very
important some unbiased group or organization be
working on these problems to provide the kind of
information that can be interpreted not only by the
government but by other people who have an interest
in seeing that the government behaves the way it
ought to.
Another special problem on the west coast is the
problem of earthquakes, and while people may feel
that we have earthquakes only occasionally, the fact
of the matter is that all major structures have to be
designed to resist earthquakes. This is costing us
money in development, and one of the things that we
have developed here is a rather good group in the
earthquake engineering field. We're trying to come up
with reasonable earthquake design standards and
techniques. We've appealed to the federal government
for help in this regard, and we've applied for a grant
of about $1,500,000 to establish an earthquake engineering centre here. So far as we can identify them,
we try to tackle some of the overall major problems
that we see are peculiar to B.C.
MR. ROBERTSON: The businessman is interested
in seeing those things developed which will affect the
growth of B.C. Special programs, it seems to me,
should be developed in the existing institutions, with
space and funds provided to do this. The present
space shortage -tt UBC appears to prevent setting up
such special programs. These sar ? problems also raise
But here, this is not the case. We might have difficulty in sustaining an adequate level of finance and
it might degenerate into purely a teaching institution.
It would be a step I would support only if it became
patently clear that we were going to suffer, and there
was a possibility that we might do better under this
system. The problem for the University is one of future directions and how to allocate resources within
the University. It does seem to me that some very
hard decisions will have to be made about the role of
the University because it's only when our role is clear
that you can make meaningful decisions about
MR. HODGE: I agree with Dr. Finn that institutes
such as that suggested can be very successful, but a
hasty decision to embark on such a program could be
disastrous unless it was preceded by a very careful
study to determine whether or not such an institution
was compatible with B.C.'s needs. I'd certainly support the idea of a study to determine the feasibility
of such a school.
MR. ROBERTSON: Well, I think we should make
what we now have first class, or keep it first class
before we start to do anything else.
The only advantage for a separate school would be
its ability to govern itself by engineering standards
rather than be lumped in with all the other faculties
and ending up with the short end of the stick when it
comes to funds.
UBC Reports/January 30, 1969/5 HUMORIST HIMIE KOSHEVOY
(Province Columnist)
Whenever a university makes some progress
and new amenities are showered on the students, there's always one ancient greybeard
loon who writes to the press and sobs into the
editors' wastebaskets about how different
things today are from the state of affairs
during his own miserable existence many
years ago. The old grad's writing has been
classed as emanating from "The Far Cry Division" and, after due research, the operators of
this publication have decided that I am
eminently qualified to head this department
and be its spokesman.
"Would you care to compare the new Student Union Building with the facilities you
had in your day?" I was asked. Would I?
Would Pierre Elliott Trudeau like to date the
entire Rockette chorus line all in one night?
It was back in 1927 when I entered the
rather rickety but still determinedly hallowed
halls of UBC. This wasn't long after the Great
Trek and let me tell you there were mighty
few amenities then. An undergrad had to
make-do as best he could in a parked car, if
his dad owned one, and beyond that it was
necessity mothering sickly invention all the
Today a $5 million building is being devoted to bringing creature comforts to the students. They can feast their eyes in an art gallery where we males had to get our human
form kicks from Sun Bathing Magazine and
our avant garde sketches from Ballyhoo.
There's a bowling alley. A bowling alley?
How plebian. Isn't that a sport for Lunch-
bucket Harry and Bowlingbag Joe? At least
we played at Pee-Wee courses and there was
one of these tricky golf layouts just outside
the gates down Tenth avenue. You could get
close to it via the nickel fare on the bus.
And the SUB, I'm told, has a barber shop.
This sets us veterans to musing whether the
6/UBC Reports/January 30, 1969
poor hair clippers will starve, for the downtown view of the student is a hairy one with
locks and beards blowing in the breeze or providing excellent protection in the freeze.
For the affluent undergrads of today
there's a specialty shop where blazers, rings,
records and other luxuries are sold. In the
past the only luxury was splurging on a four-
course, 35-cent meal in the cafeteria in the
basement of the old auditorium building
where a Mr. Frank Underhill was worshipped,
not because of the quality of his food, which
was good, but because he was in control of so
much of it. Our stomachs were always bigger
than our eyes. (It does sound odd when it's
reversed, doesn't it?)
Whereas the present inhabitants of the campus can now play pool, listen to stereos or
their own radio station and indulge in light
reading in rooms devoted to this laudable purpose, we had the "common room."
This was an ordinary, small room where the
male members of the 2,200-student body,
who were even then complaining of overcrowding, gathered to indulge in the newfound freedom of smoking in somewhat
cattle-car-ish crowded conditions. The braver
ones ignored the packed room and solemnly
played chess. And even bolder ones risked the
odd crap game right back of the administration building.
These were modest amusements, but they
seemed daringly adult to us. The whole coun
try had yet to go to pot.
One of the crowning jewels of the SUB is
the ballroom, which will accommodate more
than a thousand persons. Perhaps ballroom is
an ornate title considering the dances that
now appeal to the young. I can see a mother
admonishing her daughter as she sets off for a
UBC dance date (that is if mothers still perform this ancient rite), with the advice to the
sweet young thing, "Don't forget to writhe."
Our dances were all held in downtown
palaces devoted to the gavotte, waltz, minuet
and a brisker set of movements known as the
Varsity Drag. The dance employed by most of
us was called a Fox Trot, possibly so named
by a Master of the Hunt who had observed a
Hunt Ball in full caper and cry and decided
the dancers looked strangely like the prey being pursued by the hounds.
Lester Court was one spot where we
gathered, stiff in our unaccustomed finery^
Another was LaFonda and, still another, The
Auditorium next to The Arena. The Lester is
still in existence but the others are all gone.
They tell me that The Ubyssey offices now
deserve the plural. We had only one which was quite redolent of a variety of breads and
the meat and fish constituents of sandwiches
as bemused writers forgot their lunches on the
steam radiators and the wrapped packages
baked there for weeks on end.
I also understand that the Ubyssey now
possesses more than one or two typewriters.
This is astounding progress worthy of comparison with space feats.
h^Pever, I mustn't allow jealousy to rear
its ugly head. May the students enjoy their
new quarters to the fullest and may they revel
in all its pleasures, almost as much as if it
were the Faculty Club.
Facilities in UBC's new $5 million Student Union Building are a
far cry from what was available in 1927, when newspaper
columnist Himie Koshevoy entered University. During a recent
week of events to mark the opening of the building, singers
performed In the SUB cafeteria, above left, while downstairs
students by the hundreds participated in a games room pool
tournament, shown below left. Everything from beer mugs to
blazers are for sale In the basement specialty shop, below right.
Serious side of SUB is reflected in the faculty-student
symposium discussion pictured above, one of a series staged
during the week of special events. All pictures by Peter Hulbert.
j^^_U. -*.ilL *
UBC Reports/January 30, 1969/7 ERESY FROM A UBC PROFESSOR
ITH the prospect of 34,000 students at Point Grey in less than
five years, the UBC family is
beginning to look around for
someone to blame, something to
say, and, more hopefully, something to do about it. On November 1st, at a mass rally at the new Student Union
building, students supported their Council when
AMS President David Zirnhelt suggested that $14,000
of surplus student funds could be directed to a
province-wide educational campaign to tell the grass
roots about the plight of British Columbia's universities.
At this meeting both faculty and students put the
problem squarely before the large and interested audience. Question time was punctuated by'the appearance of two old-time Trotskyites calling for world
revolution first, and, presumably, a cure for over-
. crowding second.
Of all the causes of mass and infectious frustration
on the campus the chief is overcrowding. It is easy to
see why. Every morning by 8 a.m. the lines of traffic
have started to converge on campus, sometimes after
a snail's-pace progress over bridges. Then the fight
begins to get a parking space—of which there are now
Once parked, the students start on their trek
through the rain—up to half a mile—to class rooms
where several hundred students are closely packed.
Some complain that even in third year they may find
300 "attending" one lecture. They use the term advisedly, for while some may see the teacher others
may hear, none will ever speak to the scholar at close
The more enterprising may feel that self-education
offers greater rewards than does the 300th seat in an
amphitheatre, so the Library is given a whirl. This
does not last long—if it even begins—for there is only
one seat for every seven students on campus! This is
the worst of all the frustrating things on campus.
Food may be hard to get, but books are essential —
and no student who wants to study in a library expects to find himself actively discouraged, by lack of
seats and lack of books.
The annual report of the University Librarian this
year is a sobering document. He needs some 2,500
more seats if he is even to begin to cope with the
frustrating problems he sees. His are not forecasts but
actual shortages, today so serious that all alumni must
wonder how much longer UBC will continue to be a
good university. Their hope was that in their lifetime
it would become a great university.
What are we doing in this scholarly community
now cryptically called "Academics Anonymous"? Is
Dr. William C. Gibson is professor and head of the
department of the history of medicine and science in
the faculty of medicine and special assistant to the
President on University development.
8/UBC Reports/January 30, 1969
it any wonder that Senate is asked to consider such
motions as: "That Senate inform the Board of Governors that the present academic facilities on this campus are adequate for approximately 13,000 students
only, and that, in Senate's view, present and future
overcrowding will destroy the University as a first
class institution."
The first thing to recognize in all this is the fact
that the problem is the problem of the people of
British Columbia; it is not "the University's problem," as is so often said. Some regard the province's
high national ranking in percentage of children finishing high school as a "disaster," though most see it as a
great opportunity. These children have been born,
they exist, and like their parents and grandparents
they would like a chance to go to a university in B.C.,
to strive for a legitimate place in the sun based upon a
sound education.
Any solution proposed to end overcrowding at
UBC will have its opponents—and to date the "de-
bunkers" have won the day—complacently knocking
on the head every suggestion. The net result of all
these armchair victories is that UBC goes on losing its
battle against numbers.
The geographical isolation of the land beyond the
mountains and north of the border tends to lead to
philosophical isolation, with the practical result that
every problem in the promised land is attacked with
the bare hands of the pioneer, innocent of all knowledge of numerous solutions to identical problems in
other parts of the world.
It comes as a shock to some to realize that in
Ontario few freshmen can attend the larger and older
universities; or that in some of the world's best universities freshmen can enter only if they have 80 per
cent on entrance examinations. Some refuse to believe that hundreds of thousands of students pay an
examination fee of $25 or more to write standardized
papers for entrance to universities. A student is very
wise to spend this $25 before he spends $2,500 of his
or his family's money on a college year for which he
may not be adequately equipped.
AT UBC, where the entrance requirement is now 60 per cent on
B.C. matriculation examinations,
the last freshman class to be
tested (in May, 1968) showed
that of those entering with 60 to
64 per cent on B.C. matriculation, 27 per cent failed or withdrew. Only 32 per
cent received a full year's credit, and 41 per cent
obtained some credit.
It may be asked if this exercise was worthwhile for
27 per cent of the freshman class. Those who failed
had lost a year of their own time, had wasted their
own or their family's money—not to mention the professor's time—and the taxpayers' money. In arts a student pays for about one-quarter of the cost to the
taxpayer. In medicine, the student pays approximately one-eleventh of the cost. For each student
enrolled, the taxpayer has invested from $6,000 to
$8,000 in capital equipment. So, all in all, we should
perhaps ask ourselves the question, "For whom the
I still harbor the quaint notion that, considering
the above facts, no student should be admitted to a
university in this province unless he was gainfully employed for 12 months previously. To put something
into the economy first might be a salutary prelude to
taking something out of it. This is, of course, such
rank heresy that it would never be considered.
Coming to the next quaint idea, it may be that no
one in future can enter UBC until they have successfully completed two years at a junior community college. Possibly no assistant professor should be eligible
for promotion to associate professor rank at UBC
until he had successfully completed three years of
teaching in such a 2-year college.
It seems to me that the rural areas of the province,
many with low cash income constituents, have f^fc
more than 50 years sent their young people grear
distances to UBC at the coast. Possibly the time has
come to redress this, and to build sufficient two-year
colleges throughout the province to remove the un-
supportable load of freshmen and sophomores now
burdening UBC.
To continue the heresy even further, one might
suggest that freshmen and sophomores should have to
"earn" their right to a place on the Point Grey campus, either by gaining 80 per cent on entrance
examinations or by completing two years in junior
colleges. The terminology will give some of my critics
apoplexy, no doubt, but the survival of UBC as a top
university is a more serious consideration.
What we should never permit is limitation of e^P
trance into UBC through escalation of tuition fees. It
may   be that non-resident fees will  eventually  be
charged, as in many state universities in the U.S.A.
The goal is not discrimination against students
capable of handling university work loads. The goal is
the preservation of UBC, an institution into which
two generations and more have poured their effort,
affection and support; an institution which has
played a key role in the development of the province
and nation, and which has supplied the peace-keeping
personnel of the world with some of its greatest
By overcrowding it 50 per cent beyond its capacity we are destroying its usefulness to the province. It
must be kept at 15,000 students and must be properly financed to provide those critically important professional faculties which will give the province what
its development requires in engineers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and other professionals.
_^^^^^____^ HE wave of students which UBC
»_^^^^^^      cannot possibly admit to first and
Af^^m I second year will have to be looked
m   g^M I after   in   less  expensive  and   less
M      I I bewildering 2-year colleges. These
^^^^ !_/ can bring to rural areas not only
^^A^0T equality  of opportunity for stu
dents in post-secondary education, but also the impact of colleges in the communities where they are
In summary, if the sheer weight of numbers is not
lifted from the back of UBC, student frustration will
increase to the point of explosion, with the destruction of a great institution. Let us take the preventive
action now which will mak- this both unnecessary
and impossible. DM [SDCH-W
A well-known Vancouver musician and entertainer
is calling the tune on development of a major summer
^^ivention centre at the University of B.C.
Dallas "Dal" Richards has been appointed
convention manager for the University, working on
the staff of Housing Director Les Rohringer.
Richards' assignment is to promote the summer
use of residence facilities by convention groups of all
"We have excellent facilities on this campus for
meetings that are primarily working conventions
interested in conducting the maximum amount of
business at their sessions," he said.
"We don't expect to compete for the "fun"
conventions as opposed to the working conventions.
They are a different breed of cat. They'll always want
fp kind of luxury available at a first rate hotel and
e availability of adjacent entertainment areas."
Richards said UBC offers the advantages of an
attractive physical setting, the capacity to handle a
large number of people—which hotels can't always do
in the busy summer season—and prices considerably
lower than downtown rates.
"Our accommodation is not as sophisticated as
that available downtown, but its certainly
comfortable and attractive," he said.
"We offer basically cafeteria service as opposed to
banquet and restaurant service in hotels and we make
it clear to conventions that their delegates won't find
television sets and showers and tubs in their rooms."
Richards said other advantages UBC offers to
convention groups include a complete audio visual
service, bar service on a special permit basis and the
opportunity for conventions of professional groups to
have contact with faculty members in the same field.
Richards feels UBC can now handle conventions of
up to 1,500 persons. One of this size is already
booked for 1970, and this capacity will double when
the new Wireless Site residences become available in
"The Wireless Site will add 1,200 beds to the
1,400 now available in the Totem Park and Place
Vanier Residences," he said.
"It will be sophisticated accommodation in three
high rise towers with such features as underground
parking, baby-sitting service and a barber shop."
UBC's "convention" season runs from May 1 to
Sept. 1.
Facilities at Totem Park are available for the entire
period. The Place Vanier facilities are also available
except for the period between July 1 and August 15
when they are reserved mainly for students attending
the University Summer Session.
Richards doesn't expect to see any significant
change in UBC's convention business until the
summer of 1970 because most conventions book a
year ahead but he is now planning a campaign to
publicize what the University has to offer.
Letters have been sent to every convention bureau
in Canada, a descriptive brochure is being prepared
and a colored slide show will be produced for viewing
by service clubs and other potential customers.
"I also plan to do some travelling, locally at first
and then further afield to let people know what we
have to offer," he said.
"It's amazing how many businessmen I meet here
in Vancouver and elsewhere who have no idea of
what kind of facilities we have available on campus."
Richards has a lengthy background in the hotel
and convention field as a bandleader and
entertainment director and is a graduate of the British
Columbia Institute of Technology's course in hotel,
motel and restaurant management.
"I've been connected with the hotel and
entertainment business all my life. I've produced the
B.C. Lions half-time show since the club's inception
in 1954 and I was entertainment director at the Hotel
Vancouver for a number of years," he said.
"Several years ago I decided to take the BCIT
course. It's an intensive two-year course with
40-hours a week of instruction in all aspects of the
hotel business from setting up reservations and
housekeeping systems to legal matters which arise."
During his BCIT course Richards led a "double
life" as a daytime student and as a bandleader into
the early hours of the morning.
"I'd never got up before 10 a.m. in my life before
and the first six months nearly killed me but I learned
to get by with a lot less sleep than I thought I
needed," he said.
"I intend to continue working as a bandleader but
only on the weekends which won't interfere with my
University work. I've been a musician all my life and
you can't just turn around and leave it."
UBC Reports/January 30, 1969/9 Computer
There's a calculating new mind on the University
of B.C. campus these days with a marvellous memory
and a positive talent for solving other people's problems.
It's the new IBM 360 Model 67 computer which
took up residence last November in the UBC Com;
puting Centre and is already in increasing use by a
growing number of individuals and University departments.
The 360—which calculates 10,000 times faster
than the first computer used by UBC and a million
times faster than paper and pencil—will have three
main functions.
It will be available to faculty members as a
research tool which will cut calculating time to a
miminum and allow more time for study and analysis.
The computer will also be used in the teaching of
students in computer science courses and students in
other areas who need to know how to use a computer.
And it is likely to find increasing use for such
administrative tasks as classroom and examination
Vern Dettwiler, supervisor of operations for the
computing centre, says the computer opens new possibilities for researchers because of its speed and easy
"We now have about 30 remote terminals in operation on campus and connected to the computAand
we may be able to install up to 50 remote terrmWIs,"
he said. ,
"A computer user at a terminal can hold a two-
way 'conversation' with the computer via a teletype
which is linked to the computer by telephone lines."
Dettwiler said an individual can feed data to the
computer, get answers in seconds to complex equations and decide on the spot what to do next on the
basis of the results.
"Previously a man had to give us his punch cards
over the counter, probably wait a day for results and
by that time might have forgotten exactly where he
was with the problem."
In addition to the teletype-style hookups which
provide a written answer from the computer there are
video screens which display data requested fromthe
computer. The video screens have the advan^B of
being quieter than teletypes and the disadvantage of
not providing a written record.
Dettwiler said the program used in the UBC computer was developed at the University of Michigan
and put into operation at UBC with assistance frorft
the U.S. university.
"The system is designed around the idea that
people who will use the machine may be experts in
physics or history but are not computer experts," he
"We haven't had much trouble in teaching people
to use the computer but just in case of mistakes the
system is designed to query any instruction that
might accidentally destroy information stored in its
Dettwiler says that computers not only speed calculations but by their very existence influence and
alter man's way of life.
"In sociological terms the main effect of this
computer will be on the type of research that will be
done and can be done at the University," he said.
"For example, sociologists can now take much
larger  samplings for analysis, crystallographers can
UBC's new IBM 360 computer doesn't operate entirely on its own. It requires a lot of
human assistance, as the photos on these
pages show. At left, staff member Janet Thom
is shown operating a card-reader printer at a
remote terminal adjacent to the main computer room. Information prepared on punch
cards by undergraduates is transmitted by this
machine via telephone lines to the computer,
which processes material and returns answers
to the card-reader printer. UBC computer in-
10/UBC Reports/January 30,1969 Makes You Prove You're You
tackle problems of chemical structure which couldn't
be touched before and civil engineers can do very
precise structural analysis."
Dettwiler does not believe that computers are
likely to develop any capacity for "thought" in the
■foreseeable   future.
"Computers follow very straightforward instructions and the thing that does the thinking is the
person that programs it.
"But computers have one particularly useful
ability and that is to determine between positive and
negative numbers and make a decision on what to do
in either case. There are some schools of thought
which say our human thought processes are nothing
more than a series of such elementary decisions."
He said the computer is a serial machine which
basically performs its function one step at a time and
there is a limit to the number of steps that can be
performed in, for example, one second.
"What the human brain does which the present-
day computers cannot do is to consider things in
parallel. The brain can look at this, that and the next
thing and compare the overall picture," Dettwiler
pointed out.
"Integrated circuits are now in use but circuits
which could duplicate the complexity of the human
brain are still in the realm of fantasy."
The UBC computer often gives users the impression of performing many jobs simultaneously. This is
because it performs each task so rapidly and has the
ability to switch back and forth from one job to
an^fcer so that no user is kept waiting too long.
^£ time sPan f°r a relatively simple problem
involving half a dozen multiplications and a couple of
square roots is measured in milliseconds.
Researchers who once took days or weeks on a
complex calculation now think the computer is malfunctioning if it doesn't fire back an answer in 10 or
15 seconds.
At   the   moment   faculty   members  have  almost
unlimited access to the computer for their projects
but budgeting of computer time by department nay
begin next year.
Dr. James Kennedy, director of UBC's computing
centre, says under this arrangement departments
wc^kl submit budgets for computer time to a
UiHrsity-wide committee. This information would
give the centre an estimate of demand on which to
base its own planning to meet expanding needs.
Dettwiler says the centre's analysts can often assist
a user in making maximum use of his machine time
try checking on how he plans to use the computer.
"The computer is so fast that people don't think
twice about doing something the wrong way. There
have been instances where computer time has been
reduced by a factor of 100 simply by finding a better
way to tackle the problem," Dettwiler said.
"If you ask a first grader to multiply eight times
eight he'll do it by adding eight to itself eight times if
•he doesn't know multiplication. There are often
several ways of doing a problem with a computer."
The new computer may have a marvellous memory
and a talent for solving problems but it will not work
for you unless it knows you by name.
Each individual user will be given a code name or
password which will identify him to the computer
and keep track of the amount of time he uses.
This is to defend against caddish types who use up
their alloted time and get more time on the machine
by using someone else's name.
If you happen to be that mythical creature—an
absent-minded professor—and forget your password,
the computing centre will refresh your memory but
only after you have proved that you are really you.
eludes video display units which show data
requested from the machine. Staff member
Dennis Pervis is shown operating one of the
units at top right. At bottom right, Vern
Dettwiler, supervisor of operations at the
UBC Computing Centre, is shown checking
the high speed printer, the primary print-out
unit attached to the computer. The computer's calculations print on this machine at the
xrate of 1,100 lines per minute. All photographs by Denl Eagland.
UBC Reports/January 30, 1969/11 *-••>
'«*&~~ ,
UBC Extension Photo Services
A free noon-time concert featuring Tomorrow's Eyes is part of SUB opening.
Student Aid Scheme
Proves Big Success
There's something symbiotic about
big organizations and red tape: you
can't seem to have one without the
other. That's as true for universities as
it is for governments and corporations.
And as everyone is only too aware it
so often means irritating delay and
frustration when people want to get
things done—and fast.
About a year ago the UBC Alumni
Association decided to do its bit in the
battle against red tape and set up a
special Contingency Fund designed to
give quick help to worthy student programs. Backed with a $5,000 allocation from the Alumni Fund, the Contingency Fund has proved a big
success. "So many good programs just
can't be planned a year in advance and
this scheme has enabled us to move
much more quickly in meeting student
requests for help," said Jack Stathers,
Executive Director of the Alumni
Association. "Because we can move
swiftly we have been able to support a
variety of projects that otherwise
might not have been able to get off the
ground at all." A total of $4,507 has
so far been contributed from the Contingency Fund to help 11 projects.
Under the Contingency Fund procedure, each request for aid needs only
the unanimous approval of the UBC
President or his deputy, the Executive
Director of the Alumni Association,
and the Past President of the Alumni
Association. Normal allocations from
the Alumni Fund involve a more complicated and lengthy procecure. The
Contingency Fund is designed to help
projects for which aid is not available
elsewhere. The whole idea is to provide some of the extras, some of the
little things that go to make university
a more pleasant and rewarding experience for students.
The week-long festivities celebrating the formal opening of the new
Student Union Building is the latest
project to be helped by the Contingency Fund. The opening featured displays, dances, poetry readings, music
and a seminar series. The fund granted
$500 to help the project after students
12/UBC Reports/January 30, 1969
pointed out they needed help to avoid
having to charge admission for part of
the program.
Two UBC rowers participated in
the Mexico Olympics with $400 help
from the Contingency Fund. The
money paid the entry fees ($200 each)
of John Ullinden and Lyle Gatley.
Unfortunately they just missed qualifying in the pairs by seven-tenths of a
second. The fund also provided $147
to help the UBC Commerce Undergraduate Society send a student representative to a congress of Commerce
students at Loyola University in Montreal. And $100 was provided to help
buy books and periodicals for the Social Sciences Reading Room. The reading room serves graduate students in
the Departments of Economics, Politi-
cal Science, Sociology and
Students in the new Arts I program
were major beneficiaries of the Contingency Fund. A total of $1,850 was
contributed to facilitate student-
faculty field trips. Group A of the Arts
I program received $500 for a weekend initiation retreat to Camp Elphin-
stone to talk about a novel and to get
to know each other better. Group B
received $750 to help in a three day
field trip to Vancouver Island to look
at the forest industry as part of their
study, "The Forest and the City."
Group C was granted $600 to assist a
weekend symposium at Paradise
Valley discussing Plato.
Among the earlier grants, the Faculty of Arts received $500 to publicize a
series of orientation talks and to provide refreshments during registration,
in order to make that a more pleasant
experience for freshmen. A symposium, "Africa: Conflict and Prospect,"
received $410 to help with publicity
and a Medical Undergraduate Society
retreat was granted $400. The Alma
Mater Society Housing bureau was
assisted with a $200 grant which paid
part of a field worker's salary.
While virtually all of the initial
allocation has now been used up, this
will iikely not be the end. It is hoped
that the fund will be replenished and
that the program will continue.
Judging from the recent Vancouver civic election, some of our
would-be educational reformers are really totalitarians in disguise.
Theirs is the new dogma of freedom. The present approach to
learning (as few would deny) is too rigid and too uniform. These
reformers would change all that to offer all students a freer, more
personalizad style of education—thus neatly substituting one
uniform system for another.
For example, two years ago, I sent my eldest child to a "free"
school in order that she might become involved in an exhilarating
educational experience. Now that she has returned to the public
school system, I would hope that a similar classroom atmosphere
might be made available to her there. Well, several of the
candidates for Vancouver school board told me that, upon their
election, it would be. They assured me the school system would
undergo a total change. But not all parents want their children in
"free" schools. However, it appears that such objections would be
ignored by the new reformers and the children would be given
what is good for them.
The pursuit of uniformity is present even in the attempts of
school boards now to implement educational innovations. The
school officials seem to feel that all students must benefit from
the innovations, if they prove successful. There is, for example,
one non-graded elementary school in Vancouver. And an
incumbent school trustee has declared that in 10 years all
elementary schools may be non-graded. But perhaps some parents
want their children to attend such schools: now—others might
favor a different style of learning. Surely, basic to freedom is the
right to choose—even in education.
The new totalitarians inform us that all of our children will be
permitted to attend a shiny new humanized institution. We'll like
it; the students will love it; and the teachers will accept it—or else.
Such an approach puts a premium on the infallibility of those
proposing the changes.
I suggest that what we need instead is a school system based on
"designated diversity." Under this system, the public would be
informed as to the educational methods employed in the various
schools so that they might choose which "type" of institution
they wished their children to attend.
Those teachers, parents and students who wanted to establish a
Dotheboys' Hall would be given the opportunity. Personally, I
would favor a "play-centred" school in which "recreational
activity" would be the core motivator to learning. But even most
"progressives" would reject such a concept as an overall policy for
the district. Vancouver is large enough to have a diversified school
system in which many such different institutions would be viable
Certainly the universities now are also large enough to
accommodate such a diversified approach to the means of
attaining a higher education. It could be done through a college
system or simply through developing different programs or
streams, such as Arts I. Students who wish to continue to be
"anonymous" paper-seeking members of the university could
continue to do so in a program with lecture-oriented professors
who also prefer that style. Those who wish to explore the
potential of a "free" university should have put at their disposal
like-minded faculty and facilities to develop and assess the
feasibility of such an approach. There is no comprehensive
traditional nor revolutionary plan of the "best" form of
education. Only the totalitarians possess a master plan.
There are many paths to the mountain. It is the responsibility
of the educators to show us where they begin.
Mr. Warnock, BA '55. teaches at Kitsilano secondary school.


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