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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Reports Nov 26, 1970

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The Freedom I
And Frustratio
Some 3,000 UBC students live in campus residences, where the strict regulations of the past
have been replaced by a simple statement of standards and students accept responsibility
for running their own affairs. On Pages Two and Three of this issue, UBC Reports
explores student involvement in residence life and the history of campus residences. And
a student who left the residences explains why she found life there "unrealistic."
In Residence
^ i
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ft       —
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1 .*'*;
*■» *•
Model above shows UBC's first coeducational residence, now under construction. For details, see story on Page Three.
-See Page Five
-See Pages Six and Seven
-See Page 10 ■   ||fj| ■■ AfAa\ 'n   residence  on  the   University  of B.C.  campus means
I I II I Hi I* freedom, and sometimes frustration, for students. In the
II ■■ I IV II article which begins below, Michael Tindall, an Information
III H I mW Mm Services staff member, describes how students take
responsibility for governing themselves in residence, including imposition of
disciplinary measures. On the page opposite, Mr. Tindall briefly describes the history of
housing at UBC and the newest development — a coeducational dormitory — now
under construction. At far right, a graduate student describes her experiences living in
residence and explains why she decided to leave.
Simple Code
Life in UBC
By Michael Tindall
For years, the mention of college dormitories and
residence halls conjured up visions of stern ivy-clad
buildings, strict adherence to disciplinary codes, and
harsh penalties for those who disobeyed the rules.
The accepted tradition was that the university or
college acted "in loco parentis," in place of the
parents, and students had little or no responsibility
within their residence.
To say that these conditions still exist in many
institutions throughout this hemisphere would be an
understatement. Many colleges in the United States,
for example, are either turning over the
administration of their residences to external bodies,
or getting out of the housing business altogether.
Others find that the only way they can satisfactorily
administer the dorms from the standpoint of both
economy and discipline is by ruling with an iron
hand. Are these the only answers?
Definitely not, according to UBC's Director of
Housing Les Rohringer, the man who engineered
what is perhaps the most innovative and successful
reorganization of campus housing on the North
American continent.
Soon after he was appointed housing director in
1967, Rohringer introduced the concept of student
self-discipline and communal responsibility. The
many rules and regulations which had - previously
applied in residence were scrapped and replaced
instead with a pleasantly worded document called
"Standards In Residence." This booklet, which is
given to all new resident students, urges them to
realize that they have a commitment to further their
own intellectual development; to respect the private
and personal property of both the University and
other students; to reflect a standard of behavior
suitable to a member of the academic community;
and to co-operate in making the residence a friendly
and relaxed place in which to live.
There was reluctance at first to relinquish what
seemed to many to be an enormous amount of
freedom to the students. But the freedom was not
without a catch: responsibility.
Rohringer reasoned that if the students were to be
given a free hand in many areas of residence life, then
they ought to be responsible for the policing of those
areas, and so encouraged the now popular and much
admired system of resident student government.
The system is simple. Each year the students living
in   the  various  residences elect  from  among  their
Residence lounges are a quiet retreat for reading and listening to records.
2/UBC Reports/Nov. 26, ^970
number a council consisting of a president, a
vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer, and social,
cultural, and athletic conveners. In addition, students
elect a food representative and a floor representative.
The former is responsible for receiving comments
from students regarding food and passing them along
to the dietician, the latter for maintaining appropriate
standards of behavior.
The councils are advised by Resident Fellows and
Dons, senior students chosen for their academic and
leadership qualities, who live in residence and act as
"Big Brothers" to students. They are not professional
counsellors since that service exists elsewhere on
campus. Rather they are there to lend a helping hand
or a sympathetic ear to students with problems, to
inform residents of meetings and activities, and to act
as liaison between the student officers and the
University counselling services.
To deal with problems of sub-standard behavior,
each council appoints a standards committee
composed of students drawn from its area. The
committee is charged with the responsibility of
hearing such cases and then bringing a judgement
against the student or students involved. Since the
committee is judging its peers with whom it must live
all year, punishment is usually quite fair, and often
results in the guilty students having to perform some
activity such as cleaning up an area.
Only serious misdemeanors are brought to the
attention of the Housing Office, and only then does
disciplinary action come from outside the residence.
One measure of the success of the new policy is the
fact that each year very few cases of this nature
transcend the internal disciplinary committees.
Another area in which students have been given
greater liberty is. within their own rooms. They are
encouraged to decorate them individually and
develop their own territory in the belief that this will
give them a sense of belonging. The only stipulation is
that the rooms must be returned to their original
state before the students leave. They usually are.
Further proof of the success of the policy can be
found in a comparison of the damage levy, before and
after the new standards were introduced. The levy is
assessed students at the close of the academic year to
cover the cost of repairing or replacing furnishing and
fittings within their residence. It exists because the
residences are operated as an ancillary service — that
is they are entirely self-sustaining, paying all their
expenses from revenues realized from student rents,
and during the summer months, from convention
groups who use some of the residence facilities on a
hotel basis. There are no tax monies applied to
residence budgets nor are there any hidden subsidies
from the University or from the government so all
repairs must be paid for by the students in whose
residence the loss or damage occurred. Three years
ago the average annual levy was $5.00 per student.
Now it is 56 cents.
The use of some residences by convention groups
during the four summer months when students do
not normally occupy the rooms is an attempt to keep
residence rates at the lowest possible level. Since
mortgage and other payments do not cease during
this period it would otherwise be necessary to charge
the students a rate that would take into consideration
the fact that there are no direct revenues through this
period, and student rentals would consequently be
higher than similar accommodation in off-campus
housing. An added benefit is the fact that food staffs
can be kept on in April rather than dismissing them
and then going ' through the costly and
time-consuming process of re-hiring each fall.
A full-time convention manager is retained to
solicit convention business during the academic year
and to manage the residence convention center during
the summer, when a concerted effort is made to
employ as many students as possible in operational
and maintenance positions. jrftiY huts in   ^a ?._... _
Saftphave almost diwpjp^^lr.1?^; ^-?*'i
tb.be replaced by this mod«rfi  ;j '!-?s%.i :w~~
apartment tower and tewri'houiss
development for married
graduate students and famUles '
The history of residences on the Point Grey
campus is relatively short. When the Second World
War ended UBC's enrolment more than doubled when
returning veterans, many of them with families,
returned to the campus to begin or complete their
This fact, coupled with a local housing shortage,
forced UBC to make a special effort to provide
residence facilities for students and an expanding
In 1944 and 1945 the refurbished military
barracks of Acadia Camp and Fort Camp were
acquired and turned into student residence
complexes. These facilities were supplemented with
army huts, obtained and brought to campus in large
numbers, and with the creation of Wesbrook Camp,
which housed married students and faculty members,
on the south-eastern fringe of what was then the
University's agricultural field area. Additional
accommodation was leased at Little Mountain and on
Lulu Island and these five camps proved adequate to
handle the housing shortage.
By 1951, veteran enrolment had dropped to
slightly more than 300, and the leased buildings had
been given up. The provincial government, however,
had been so impressed by the post-war need for
housing and the sincere efforts of the University to
meet the demand that they approved the use of
one-third of a 1948-49 supplementary capital grant to
UBC for the construction of women's residences. As a
result UBC gained Anne Wesbrook Hall, Isabel
Maclnnes Hall and Mary Bollert Hall, its first
permanent residences, adjacent to Fort Camp.
Today, approximately 3,000 students are housed
in residence in various locations on campus. Fort
Camp is still in operation and is much prized since
students are allowed to remodel and redecorate the
old huts more or less as they please. Acadia Camp has
all but disappeared and replaced by Acadia Park, a
complex for married students which consists of a
high-rise tower for couples and town-house style
low-rise dwellings for families.
The four- and six-storey buildings of Totem Park
and Place Vanier on Marine Drive appeared in 1961
and eased the housing situation for several years but
demand has again grown to the point where there are
more students expressing a desire to live on campus
than there are rooms to house them.
This strain is eased somewhat by the theological
college residences and by the fraternity houses in the
Wesbrook Crescent and Agronomy Road areas which
offer rooms, or room and board, with students not
needing to be members to qualify.
Perhaps the greatest relief will come however,
from the University's latest student housing project,
on which construction has recently begun. This is the
Wireless Station Complex, on tne site of the former
federal government wireless towers at Wesbrook
Crescent and SUB Road.
Stage one, consisting of two 16-storey towers, will
house nearly 800 students when completed. Stage
two, to be constructed when mortgage funds become
available, will house an additional 600 in a third
tower and two low-rise structures.
The project is unique in several aspects. It is the
first residence to be built under the negotiated
contract process whereby a cost ceiling is established
early in the planning stage and contractors are then
requested to bid on the basis of a minimum
guaranteed fee. Provisions for shared savings are also
included in the contract so that if the contractor
finishes the project for less than the fixed maximum
price, the savings are divided between contractor and
University on an agreed basis.
The design of the towers is also unusual. Each
floor is divided into self-contained quadrants, each
quadrant containing accommodation for six students
in the form of six private rooms for study and
sleeping. These are coupled with communal lounge,
kitchen, dining, and bathroom facilities. The common
block, a part of stage one, includes lounge and study
facilities as well as administrative areas.
Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the new
residence towers will be the fact that they will be
coeducational. Each of the self-contained quadrants
will be occupied by groups of six male or six female
students. The move toward coeducational residences
is not new — it has been successfully carried out at a
number of North American universities.
Finally the complex is unique in that it was
designed from the inside out. Students were
consulted as to their likes and dislikes and as to
particular problems they may have encountered in
other residences due to the design of the buildings.
Adult students, to whom the residence will be
restricted, indicated that they did not wish to have
meals at set times, so meals will be available in a
coffee shop, with meal tickets in the dining room,
from a delicatessen, and from vending machines.
The students said they liked moveable and
up-to-date furniture, so less furniture in this residence
will be fastened down, and more important, the
various pieces are designed to be completely replaced
within 15 years rather than 50 which is the accepted
Perhaps most significant is the fact that four
students sat on the clients' committee and made
suggestions as to the decoration and internal design of
the buildings.
Here was concrete proof that the Housing
Administration was prepared to practice what it
preached: a belief that given the opportunity,
students could and would take a responsible part in
the planning and upkeep of what are, after all, their
Residence living proved to be a
disappointing experience for Miss Christian
Cross, a mature graduate student engaged in
studies leading to the degree of doctor of
philosophy. She left the Totem Park Residences
in January of this year because she found the
experience "unrealistic." She explains why in
the following article.
I am a graduate student, engaged presently
in experiments leading to the writing of a Ph.D.
I wanted, therefore: 1. to live close to the
lab and library facilities of the MacMillan
Building; 2. to live in an atmosphere conducive
to study and quiet and, 3. to live among people
not necessarily of my own training and
background, in order to share with them in the
little time available (usually meal times), ideas
and experiences outside my own field.
During the previous term I had lived on the
top floor of Shuswap House, Totem Park, with
a group of senior and graduate students, and
had made many interesting and stimulating
friends. The atmosphere had been relaxed and
the students considerate of one another's needs.
Having definite goals, we had worked hard, and
although we had come from diverse
backgrounds and were pursuing widely varied
subjects, we had found much to discuss and
enjoy between study times. The Don, although
not intruding into one's private life, had offered
her friendship and concern, dropping into the
students' rooms from time to time and inviting
the students into her apartment. I should add
that I found the physical facilities of Shuswap
House very convenient and well planned, and
that I continue to be amazed at the relatively
high standards the Food Services manage to
maintain if they are, in fact, operating under a
minimum budget.
I returned to residence, therefore, full of
anticipation that what I had experienced in the
spring might be continued in the fall. I was,
however, disappointed to find a completely
different student atmosphere in the fall from
what I had left in the previous spring. In trying
to analyze the situation as I found it and as it
developed during the fall term, I find myself
returning again and again to the word
Residence living seemed to me to be
unrealistic in these ways:
1. By accepting first- and second-year
students with only a very few from the more
senior years, the Housing authorities had
further stratified an already artificial society. (I
use the word artificial in the sense that
University students can not reflect a natural
society where all age groups are represented in
the same way that they are outside the
I have no desire, and indeed am not
competent, to discuss the cost of residence
living, but it is obvious that most first- and
second-year students were receiving substantial
support from their parents or elsewhere in
order to meet residence fees. In living with
these students I gained the impression that
most of them came from that part of our
society which enjoys a fairly high income, and
again I concluded that only a small strata of
society was represented in the residences and
that it was being concentrated in an unreal
2. It is inevitable that in such an artificial
society, the natural constraints found both in
family life or, on a wider scale in town or city
life, are absent. By abolishing all rules in the
expectation that young people, however
admirable in so many ways, are going to
consider others before themselves with respect
to such diverse needs of society from the care
Please turn to Page Four
UBC Reports/Nov. 26, 1970/3 ■ IH| ft Volume 16, No. 24 - Nov. 26,
IIHI 197°- Published by the
^J^J^J   University of British Columbia
^* ^* ^*   and    distributed    free.     UBC
REPORTS,-.        , TUJ
Reports appears on Thursdays
during the University's winter session. J.A.
Banham, Editor. Ruby Eastwood, Production
Supervisor. Letters to the Editor should be sent
to Information Services, Main Mall North
Administration Building, UBC, Vancouver 8,
Continued from Page Three
of community property, to a preservation, at least at
some hours of the day, of quiet for those who wish to
study or sleep, again seems to me to be unrealistic.
Perhaps I am generalizing too much, for there are
those young people who go out of their way to
conserve what, for want of a better term, I would like
to call an "academic and residential environment,"
but they are at an age where for the sake of following
the crowd, most students prefer to submit their
judgment to the more vociferous "party types" or,
alternatively, quietly remove themselves from
residence living.
3. This brings me to the question of leadership.
Floor leaders appeared to have been elected within
the first few weeks of term, on what basis I do not
know. (I arrived a couple of weeks late, having been
in England). As far as I could gather, these floor
leaders were the only people in residence who were
empowered with any sort of authority. I remember
the attempts of the leader on my floor at a sparsely
attended floor meeting when she tried to suggest that
quiet hours be instituted for those who wished to
study. She was quickly opposed by a few who stated
that those who wanted to study could go elsewhere,
and that they intended to do what they liked when
they liked.
This few were strong in their opinions and
virtually set the standards for all, with no opposition.
The attitude at that meeting towards wide-open
visiting hours was that if the students could not get
permission from housing to have them legally they
would simply ignore housing's wishes. How this
affected students living in double rooms I do not
Weekend recreation, again for the vocal strong
minority, and especially in the men's residences,
seemed to consist of "getting stoned." If people want
to escape from the demands of life in this way I
cannot agree with them, but I would not go out of
my way to stop them. On the other hand, I object
strongly to being awakened, along with the other
members of the residence, at 3 to 4 a.m. on Saturday
and Sunday mornings, by carousing, glass-breaking
youths performing either inside or outside the
Organized extra-curricular activities seemed to fall
into two categories: sports and parties. As I took part
in neither I cannot comment on their effectiveness in
creating what was referred to as the spirit of residence
living. I saw only the fruits of this spirit which did
not appear to include a pride in keeping the building
clean or in caring for University property.
4. The final point of unreality which I should like
to mention is that of the anomalous position of the
dons. Endowed with no authority whatsoever, and
changing from year to year so that no continuity of
policy is apparent, I often wondered just why they
were there. I rarely saw the two dons in my building
during the fall term of 1970. I understand they were
both highly recommended because of their interest in
social work and counselling, and I presume were
placed in a position where they might gain experience
in these fields, but I could not help wondering if
undergraduates in difficulties would benefit more
from a person with experience in dealing with young
people, rather than in a senior student, however keen,
with little experience.
In conclusion, I moved from residence in order to
leave an environment where I found both study and
regular sleep impossible and where, mainly because of
a generation gap, I had little in common with other
students both in conversation or activities. I could
not, in conscience, recommend to my friends who are
parents of young people reaching university age that
they should encourage their children to live in
residence because I do not feel that residence life as it
is now organized does much to prepare young
students to face either the immediate stresses and
strains of an academic career or the future demands
of the world which they are being prepared to serve.
4/UBC Reports/Nov. 26,1970 THE NEW JOURNALISM
Contemporary student newspapers are often accused of bias, distortion and bad taste
through the use of four-letter words. Student editors, on the other hand, are scornful
of the standards of the so-called "commercial" press, which they claim is nothing more
than an apologist for the establishment. UBC Reports talked recently with two
editors of The Ubyssey, the student-produced newspaper which appears twice a week
on the UBC campus. Nate Smith is editor of the paper in the current academic year
and Mike Finlay was his predecessor during the 1969-70 winter session. They explain
why a campus newspaper reflects the opinions of the staff which produce it.
UBC REPORTS: Students newspapers have always
been the target of a fair amount of criticism from the
general public, the alumni and even the student body.
This criticism seems to have intensified in recent
years at the very time that there seems to have been a
shift in thinking on the part of student editors about
the purpose of a campus newspaper. Student editors,
these days, seem to want to reflect the opinions of
their own editorial staff rather than the opinions of
the various populations which make up the
university. Is that a fair statement, or does it distort
the way that contemporary campus editors feel about
their newspapers?
MR. MICHAEL FINLAY: One of the things which
you have to keep in mind when you are talking about
student newspapers is that they operate in a different
frame of reference from commercial newspapers, such
as those published in Vancouver. You are dealing, on
student newspapers, with volunteer labor by students
who are carrying a full program of studies and who
have to attend classes each day in the same way that
students who do not work for The Ubyssey do, and
for the students who elect to work for student
newspapers there is no salary, there are no
honorariums worth mentioning. They are doing it
strictly for the love of it.
In addition, student editors have nothing to do
with the advertising content of their paper and so are
not under the gun from advertisers. If the ad manager
tells an editor that an advertiser has dropped out of
the paper because a nasty word was used, the editor
simply says, "That's fine, that's your worry, not
Student editors are concerned strictly with the
editorial content of their papers and you have to put
student newspapers in that kind of context when you
are talking about them
UBC REPORTS: In saying that you are not
concerned with what the advertiser does you are
surely posing a unique set of circumstances that is
quite out of the ordinary, quite different from the set
of rules that govern a metropolitan daily newspaper.
MR. FINLAY: I agree that the student press is
unique. The commercial newspaper is out to make
money and can't afford to lose advertising. The
student press is not out to make money but I can see
that there might arise a situation where we lost so
many advertisers that we could not afford to put out
a paper. Then, of course, we would be in trouble.
UBC REPORTS: Let's assume for a moment that
The Ubyssey was in desperate trouble. We'll assume
that advertisers by the dozen decided that the paper,
because of its editorial policies, was not the kind of
medium in which they wanted their message. This has
resulted in serious pressure from the Students'
Council and your advertising manager, who has a
budget which assumes that advertising is going to
defray a certain proportion of the costs of publishing.
In such a situation, would The Ubyssey consider
altering the way in which it handles the news to
conform more closely with the public opinion about
the way newspapers should appear or the kind of
newspaper it should be?
MR. NATE SMITH: I don't think that could be
done for a practical reason. There is no way a paper
with a staff of 50 people could decide that it was
going to represent the opinion of more than 20,000
students. Our view is that we can only represent our
own opinion. We operate on a very different set of
circumstances from the commercial press, as has
already been pointed out. There was a time when
student newspapers tried to be an imitation of the
commercial press in Vancouver, but we feel it simply
can't be done and isn't desirable.
UBC REPORTS: One of the reasons why students
of the past felt they should be a close representation
of the Vancouver commercial newspapers was
perhaps the idea that there was something called the
public consciousness which newspapers have always
claimed they strive to reflect. This is certainly one of
the philosophical bases on which large metropolitan
dailies have always operated — that they reflect
public opinion and that the powers of government,
municipal, provincial and federal, take notice of this
public opinion. To carry this one step further, the
press has, to some extent, assumed that those who
make decisions assess this public opinion and alter
their policies as a result of it. From what you have
said, it is my understanding that contemporary
student editors have rejected this idea and that you
have some other basis for determining how you will
handle the news on a university campus. Can you be
more precise about this philosophical difference?
How do you see the news, how do you make
decisions about how you will handle the news?
MR. SMITH: The commercial press may say it
operates on a philosophy of reflecting public opinion,
but I don't think it reflects the opinion of the society
in which it operates any more than The Ubyssey
reflects the opinion of the microcosm that it operates
in. One of the Vancouver papers recently ran what it
implied was an impartial analysis of
labour-management problems in our province, which
turned out to be the address of the vice-president of a
large steel company speaking to a Rotary Club. I
don't think that reflects public opinion. They are
reflecting the opinion of the people who operate that
paper and of their advertisers. We look at the
newspaper as a prime means of communication and
of getting across to our readers information which
they may not have had at their disposal or ideas
which may not have occurred to them.
UBC REPORTS: Can you give some specific
examples of the kind of thing you have just dealt
with in terms of the 1969-70 newspaper, or perhaps
some of the things you are planning for The Ubyssey
in the current year?
MR. SMITH: Well, last year I wrote a very lengthy
article about the forest industry in B.C. The idea was
to describe how the industry is controlled — how this
industry, which dominates about 40 per cent of the
Please turn to Page Eight
UBC Reports/Nov. 26,1970/5 SIMPLE T
Pictures and Story
By Kim Gravelle
The tools of his trade, compared with those in
other fields of the sciences, are not very glamorous —
most often a torch and a carbon rod.
What makes John Lees a master of that trade is
not an ability to press buttons on a machine.
Mr. Lees is a glass blower, one of about 40
professionals in Canada, and instructor in physics at
UBC. For the last 21 years, he has been responsible
for production of the thousands of varied glass
instruments and apparatus needed by the Physics
Department to carry out its work.
He is both technician and artist — reasons why
some of his laboratory work has ended up all over the
world; why some of his tiny glass objects of art have
been exhibited in such places as the Victoria and
Albert Museum in London.
The glass blower's agility makes an immediate
impression: quick with his hands (seemingly too large
to do the delicate operations they must sometimes
perform); quick on his feet ("Some people will tell
you that the only reason I'm here is to play tennis
during the lunch break"); quick with a smile
(countless interruptions during his daily routine don't
seem to disturb him).
"After you've been around for more than 20
years, people begin to think you know where and
what everything is," he commented. "And I get
innumerable calls from dear little old ladies who want
to know how to cut the tops off bottles or drill holes
in them for lamps."
Lees has been blowing glass for more than 35
years. In his spare time, he delves into a miniature
world; an inch-high angel playing a harp with strings
so minute they're barely visible, or a glass menagerie
of tiny figures done with infinite patience. Work,
whether for science or art, is equally demanding.
"First, you have to understand," he said, "that I
don't spend all of my time at UBC blowing glass.
"A great deal of time is spend in consultation, in
research, and in determining exactly what is expected
of a new piece of apparatus and how it must work. In
glass blowing, at least in a research environment,
there is very little that can be classified as 'ordinary'."
Much of the work is experimentation for him, as
well as for the individuals who need a piece of
equipment for their own experimentation.
If equipment for the department had to be
6/UBC Reports/Nov. 26. 1970
purchased, costs would be enormous, even if delivery
time and breakage in transport weren't
considerations. Breakdowns in apparatus can be
repaired immediately, as well, instead of waiting
weeks for a new piece to arrive.
Much of the glass work must withstand extreme
variations in temperature, from a high of 1,300
degrees Centigrade to a low of almost absolute zero,
—273 degrees Centigrade. Some apparatus must be
made to flex, to stretch, to join to other types of
glass, or to withstand high or low pressures, ranging
from 1,500 pounds per square inch to one billionth
of a millimeter of mercury.
Fortunately, dramatic changes in glass have been
developed in the past half-century to cope with such
demands: glass which varies in hardness and
composition, in thermal and chemical properties.
Equipment in the lab, however, has changed little.
Besides a torch (oxygen and natural gas) and a carbon
rod to shape the heated glass. Lees uses a lathe,
annealing oven, polariscope, and a diamond or
carborundum saw. The lathe allows pieces too large
for hand manipulation to be turned or joined with a
uniform motion while being heated by a variable heat
source from several gas jets. The polariscope uses
polarized light to detect strain in the glass. From
almost melting point temperature, an annealing oven
cools so slowly that what strain remains in the glass,
after annealing, is evenly distributed, ensuring more
strength to the finished product.
Strain is a key word in glass blowing, and is usually
produced during a cooling process. By arranging the
distribution of thermal strain, it is possible to
produce some interesting results. A glass tube can be
made strong enough to hammer a nail into wood —
yet will shatter when a pin is dropped into the inside.
"We used to make Prince Rupert drops, which
worked on the same principle, by dropping blobs of
molten glass into water. They are very strong, but
when the tail is broken off, they shatter into a mass
of tiny particles, something like automobile safety
glass. In the old days, it was a favorite trick of the
glass house apprentices to throw them on the
sidewalk behind passersby. They would break with a
bang like a firecracker, but leave no apparent trace."
Every three years, at UBC's Open House, Lees has
an opportunity to demonstrate his skills to
enthusiastic  audiences  in   the  Hebb  Theater.  "I've
made a number of musical instruments of glass, such
as a xylophone and a trombone with a moveable
slide. There is also a 50-foot Alpenhorn, made in
sections for convenience in transport, but blown as
one unit. And a glass blowgun which is accurate
enough to hit a bell every time across the 400-seat
Hebb Theater — well — almost every time."
Lee's miniatures are always attractions at Open
House. They include the graduated set of 100 (now
103) glass elephants produced for the 1967 Canadian
Centennial. The smallest of these measures less than
an eighth of an inch in height, and the largest is over
five inches. Besides the Victoria and Albert Museum
in London, his work has been shown in the R.B.A.
Galleries in London, the Chicago Art Institute, the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the
Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y. Then, of
course, there are a number of glass miniatures in a
special display case in the Physics Building.
"I did some of the things because at the time, they
seemed impossible to do, some just for fun, and some
for science."
Some years ago, he cooperated with Dr. S.M.
Friedman of the Department of Anatomy in making a
new type of glass for use in^potassium ion specific
electrodes. By what he calls "accident, luck and good
fortune" the glass turned out to have an unusually
high sensitivity to potassium, and small samples of
that first batch were sent to other research labs in
many parts of the world.
Lees recalls presenting a technical paper on those
electrodes and the events which took place during the
making of the glass. The molten glass fell on a
polished floor, from which it was scraped up, and
then re-melted in the furnace. This gave rise to the
claim, made for the benefit of some somber-faced
representatives of major glass companies in the
audience, that "the scientific evidence shows clearly
that one of the essential constituents of the glass is
the floor polishing compound." In technical reports,
he maintains, it is important to record the problems
and mistakes, and not just the successful results.
Lees has a distinctive philosophy about his work,
almost too idealistic, in that he refuses to believe
something can't be done.
"Whenever it seems to be impossible to do, it
often pays to try it anyway. Sometimes the
impossible proves to be just a little tricky." A complex piece of scientific equipment takes shape
under the skillful hands of John Lees, seen on the page
opposite shaping a piece of heated glass on a lathe in
his Physics Department shop. Mr. Lees has been
making glass equipment for UBC scientists for 21
A tiny glass elephant takes shape at top left on this
page to add to the set Mr. Lees created in 1967 to
commemorate Canada's Centennial. The largest
elephant is five inches in height, the smallest an eighth
of an inch. Collection now numbers 103. Photo
courtesy Vancouver Sun.
At the top of this column is a glass Viking Ship created
by Mr. Lees. It is on display in a glass showcase in the
Physics Building.
Two complex pieces of equipment made by Mr. Lees
in his Physics Department shop are shown at lower left
and below. Mr. Lees holds a MacLeod Gauge, used for
measuring pressure. On his right is a hookah, a device
used in the Middle East for smoking tobacco, which
Mr. Lees made for UBC's recent Open House. Detail of
the top of the hookah can be seen in the picture at the
bottom of this column. Tobacco is placed in the
receptacle at top and after travelling through the
apparatus is drawn out of the mouth of the horse at
UBC Reports/Nov. 26, 1970/7 'REFLECTING PUBLIC OPINIC*
Continued from Page Five
economy of British Columbia, is in the hands of so
few companies and how most of these companies are,
in fact, owned and controlled by parent companies
outside Canada.
Now, whether people read the article and agreed
with it and decided something needed to be done
about that situation, which was my intention, or
whether they will read it, think about it and say they
don't agree with it, is beside the point. At least we
got a large number of people thinking about this
UBC REPORTS: One of the problems with the
article was that it was unclear whether you regarded
the situation you described as being good or bad. You
seem to adhere, in that case, to the very thing which
your critics accuse you of having rejected, objectivity.
MR. SMITH: I certainly didn't write it with the
idea in mind of being objective. I wanted to make
some points about the forest industry in B.C. on the
question of monopoly control and foreign ownership.
I certainly intended that the reader should feel that I
had a viewpoint on these topics. I didn't feel it was
necessary to throw around words like "exploitation"
or "imperialism." The facts of that particular
situation speak pretty much for themselves.
MR. FINLAY: I would like to make another point
in connection with the article which Nate wrote last
year on the forest industry as it is related to this
question of objectivity. We were not objective to the
extent that we did not include statements of rebuttal
by the forest industry. This is something which a
commercial newspaper would feel it had to do. We
simply don't feel it is necessary to do that sort of
thing. In fact we like to be in the position where we
can tell the forest industries to go to hell.
UBC REPORTS: That attitude seems to be a
rejection of what has been a traditional tenet of
commercial newspapers, that at least you allow the
other side to have their say, even if you know it is
going to be a public relations puff. In allowing the
other side to have their say, you at least have both
points of view on record and the public is in a
position to accept or reject the viewpoint of the
parties to a dispute. It seems to me that the student
press has rejected that attitude.
MR. FINLAY: There is one situation where
newspapers do have an obligation to print rebuttals,
and that is where errors of fact are involved. When I
was editing the editorial page of The Ubyssey I
always adhered to a few simple rules. One of these
was that letters criticising the paper and its contents
were always printed, partly because I was convinced
that the newspaper's point of view was right and no
harm could be done by someone criticising the paper.
In addition, not printing the letters of readers leads to
even more criticism. The reader simply feels he is not
being listened to. Another rule to which I always
adhered was that errors of fact that were pointed out
to us were always corrected.
But when it comes to expressing matters of
opinion you are dealing with one of the basic reasons
why a student chooses to work for a campus
newspaper. In working for The Ubyssey students have
the opportunity to express their opinions, to
communicate, to tell people what they believe to be
"the truth." I also happen to believe that one of the
main reasons people choose to work for the campus
newspaper is simply to have a good time, in the same
way that a student who joins the sailing club or the
debating society chooses to have a good time by
participating in those kind of activities.
MR. SMITH: I would like to add something to
what Mike has just said. I don't think anyone would
want ta spend 30, 40 or 50 hours a week working on
a campus newspaper and perhaps sacrificing high
marks in courses just for the sake of putting out the
campus bulletin board with details of which club is
doing what. Unless student journalists have the
opportunity to express their opinions and say what
they think, there is simply no point in indulging in
this kind of activity.
UBC REPORTS: Last year, Mike, you put up a
good defense of The Ubyssey at a public meeting.
8/UBC Reports/Nov. 26, 1970
You were quite blunt and straight-forward at that
time about the function of The Ubyssey and those
who write for it. You said on that occasion that the
opinions of the people who go down and put out the
paper on a day-to-day basis are the opinions that
should be reflected in the paper. Do you still stand by
this statement?
MR. FINLAY: I don't think it can be any other
way. A worthwhile newspaper should reflect the
opinions of the staff which produce it. This is one of
the major problems with the commercial press in
Vancouver. Most of the people on the staff disagree
violently with the editorial policy of the newspapers
and this results in administrative chaos and a great
deal of hostility between staff and administration. In
trying to reflect public opinion the commercial
newspaper is simply operating under a self-imposed
In a way, the contemporary student journalist is
returning to what is generally referred to as the
period of yellow journalism which was pioneered in
the United States by men like William Randolph
Hearst. He didn't pay any attention to public
opinion. He did his own thing, but he did it for
different reasons than contemporary student editors.
Hearst indulged in yellow journalism to promote his
own political ambitions to become president and he
did it to manipulate people and money and to make
money for himself. He even went so far as to make up
stories to sell the newspaper and to make himself
look great. We like to think that we don't do that.
Student journalists in Canada today are not
politically ambitious in the conventional sense.
UBC REPORTS: It seems to me that what you
have just said implies that student newspapers want
to lead or to change public opinion. Is that the way
you saw it when you were editing the paper last year?
Were you attempting to change the opinion of
students and other groups on the campus?
MR. FINLAY: No. I may have had that idea when
I began, but my point of view changed pretty quickly
as the year went on.
UBC REPORTS: What changed your opinion?
MR. FINLAY: The aim that I settled on was that
of reflecting the state of existence, the way things
are. And that does not mean public opinion.
Reflecting public opinion, to me, simply means
confirming the prejudices of the reader and that
simply means a dead newspaper.
UBC REPORTS: Nate, can I ask you how you see
this question? How do you, as the editor of the paper
in the academic year 1970-71, see the paper
functioning? Is it a paper that reflects the viewpoint
of Nate Smith and a small group of people who run
the paper, or will it be otherwise?
MR. SMITH: To some extent it reflects my
opinions and those of the other members of the staff.
We are attempting to dig up facts, stories and other
material which deal with issues that people may not
be aware of and which we think they should know
about. Our aim is to put our opinions on the record
and try to convince people that they are valid. And if
we can't convince them, at least we are forcing people
to think about them.
UBC REPORTS: But you are not concerned with
reflecting campus opinion?
MR. SMITH: I don't feel there is any way we can
do that. You can't go out and take a poll of what
people think and write an editorial based on it. We
can only reflect our own opinion. At the same time
we don't have any illusions that an article in the
student newspaper is going to result in widespread
changes. It would be nice if, on certain occasions,
that sort of thing would happen, but we know it
won't always work that way. At the same time, in
presenting subjects which our readers may not have
been aware of in the past, it is our hope that our
opinions and views will lead to some kind of change
in campus opinion.
MR. FINLAY: Any article which appears in The
Ubyssey is based on a certain amount of personal
knowledge and investigation of facts and a number of
opinions about what is happening. This is partly what
I mean by the state of existence — the editors are
aware of what is happening. Theoretically that alone
should be enough to make other people see things the
Ubyssey editor Smith presides over a clutteret
same way you do. If people don't believe the facts,
what are they going to believe?
MR. SMITH: At the same time there is no point in
claiming that we can print 100 per cent of the facts
concerning a certain story. No paper, be it a campus
newspaper or a commercial paper, can do that. We
also admit that there is a subjective choice of facts
involved. But where we admit that there is a
subjective choice of facts the commercial press tries
to cover this up.
UBC REPORTS: What you have just said raises the
question of definitions of the words objectivity and
fairness. There is no question that the use of the word
objectivity is largely a red herring. The mere fact that
newspapers have front pages and a decision has.to be
made about what goes on those front pages
constitutes a form of censorship. But there is the >
other question of being fair to all the points of view
involved in a specific issue. One of the criticisms
which has been levied at The Ubyssey is that it has
not been fair in allowing individuals with differing
viewpoints to have their say in the columns of the
paper. You have already admitted that you make no
pretense to being objective on most matters. You said
that you have a viewpoint, a bundle of prejudices
held together by an editorial policy. Do you make '■>
every effort within the terms of those statements to
be fair to all the parties concerned when it comes to
dealing with a specific issue?
MR.  FINLAY:   Prejudice is the wrong word. We
would prefer to think that our opinions are founded
upon some sort of knowledge and investigation of the
facts.   We   try   to   be   as   fair  as  possible,   but  no
newspaper   is   ever   completely   unbiased   and   no
newspaper is always fair. In some cases, I am sure our *
own opinions will cloud our view of a certain matter
and  someone  else's opinions are  not  going to be
reported as adequately as they might be. But I do not
think that very many cases can be pointed to last year
in which we could be called biased and unfair.
I can think of one situation last year in which I
could   have   been   deliberately   biased  and   perhaps ;
unfair. A group of students sat around in the Student
Union Building last year playing a kind of war game
involving   a   deck   of   cards.    The   idea   was   the
elimination of major cities with 20 megaton devices
and the opposing side retaliated with other megaton
devices  — this  sort  of thing.   I  wrote an editorial
criticising this bunch of fools and someone did write
a letter back which I published, a letter which tried to
claim    that   playing   war   around   a   table   is   not
equivalent to killing Vietnamese women and children. MEANS A DEAD NEWSPAPER'
busy newsroom in new Student Union Building
There was no need for me to publish the letter. As far
as I was concerned the organizer was a stupid fool by
definition because he was playing a silly game using
the terminology of war. It was simply a silly thing for
a university student to be doing and I will claim that
there is no justification for his having organized such
» a game and there is no justification for allowing him
to rebut that in the columns of The Ubyssey. In my
view the space in the paper is much more valuable
than that.
In the final analysis there was a question of good
and bad taste involved here and to me a game of that
sort was in very bad taste. I did allow the rebuttal,
UBC REPORTS: Since you have brought up the
, question of good taste and bad taste, one of the
criticisms which is periodically made of The Ubyssey
is its continued use of four-letter words and other
words which offend public taste. What have you to
say about this?
MR. SMITH: First of all I think it should be
pointed out that such words are used in the
newspaper very sparingly and my view is that it is in
better taste to use a particular four-letter word to
convey what you mean than it is to indulge in a
euphemism which attempts to explain what it is you
are really talking about. I think most of the criticism
on this question stems from the final issue of The
Ubyssey in the last academic year. Part of this issue
each year is a parody on something which we feel
* needs to have a little fun poked at it. Last year we did
a parody on the Georgia Straight. I suppose there was
excessive use of four-letter words in that issue, and
the reason was that this is the kind of thing that the
Georgia Straight does. It uses these words just for
their shock value, for the hell of it. On earlier
occasions we used four-letter words for the simple
"' reason that it was a lot easier to use them rather than
indulge in euphemisms.
MR. FINLAY: It is part of the English language
and you use the language for the greatest impact, for
the aim that you are trying to achieve. One of the
most hilarious experiences that a commercial
newspaper reader in Vancouver can have is to read a
r columnist who is struggling desperately to use a
four-letter word without actually having it printed in
the newspaper. Most columnists trying to deal with
this    subject    spend    the    bulk    of    their    time
euphemistically trying to explain just what word they
are attempting to use.
Where these words have been used in The Ubyssey
I will claim that they have been used in a specific
context and only on occasions when their use can be
justified. I used four-letter words in editorials on a
couple of occasions and in opinion pieces. But on the
whole, I don't like to waste words and I avoid using
the four-letter ones unnecessarily.
The business about the words is really a hang-up.
The revolutionaries, for instance, have used the word
imperialist so often that it has come to mean
absolutely nothing. The same thing applies to poetry.
I dare anybody to write a poem in which they refer
to an azure sky. Keats and Shelley did that to death
and the contemporary poet simply can't do it
anymore. Much the same thing applies to the
four-letter word.
UBC REPORTS: One of the areas that is least
defined within the context of student government is
the relationship of the student newspaper to the
Alma Mater Society and the Students' Council. There
is an old adage that he who pays the piper calls the
tune. The man who pays in this case is the student,
but you have rejected the idea that the student who
pays the piper should call the tune. Over the years
The Ubyssey has defended this position very well but
there has always been a hazy area of the
responsibility of The Ubyssey, which is paid for by
student funds, and the Council, which is responsible
for allocating funds and for decisions about the way
in which student money is to be spent. How do you,
Nate, see this relationship between yourself and the
Council? For instance, I don't think you, as editor of
The Ubyssey, hold yourself accountable to Council.
MR. SMITH: No. In the first place, the group
which is paying the piper, the AMS, often doesn't
know which tune it wants in any case. We certainly
don't see ourselves as a mouthpiece for Students'
Council. Council has tried on a couple of occasions to
change the system so that the paper is accountable to
them but this has consistently been rejected by the
students, most recently at a general meeting. I think
it is pretty clearly understood on Council that we are
the ones who make the editorial policy, if for no
other reason than the fact that we are the ones who
spend our time putting out the newspaper.
MR. FINLAY: To extend your analogy, if the
student pays the piper and we are the piper, the
student has the right to join the band any time he
wants to. If the student or the AMS feel they know
how to play the pipe they are welcome to come down
and play it in our office. However, in most cases
students and the AMS don't know how to play the
pipe so if they want any kind of tune at all they have
got to have musicians who are prepared to play the
music. We are simply the musicians.
UBC REPORTS: Mike, you have had several years'
experience on UBC's student newspaper. What
particular areas do you see as being weak and where
do you think the strengths of the student newspaper
MR. FINLAY: I think the major weakness in
Canadian student newspapers now is their failure to
be honest with themselves. Many student newspapers
are buying copy on a syndicated basis on subjects
which are faddish or happen to be part of a current
craze. Even the radical element in Canadian student
life today has an establishment who consider
themselves radical and to preserve that image they are
forced to use a lot of material in their newspapers
which has absolutely no bearing on Canadian campus
life. It's the same old question of importing issues
from the United States just so they can fit into the
picture of being radical.
For instance, last year we ran a piece on women's
liberation and women's rights which I thought was a
terrible piece of journalism. I did not see the material
before it went into the paper and if I had it would
not have run because I thought that a great deal of it
was simply garbage, although it did make a couple of
good points.
The strength of the student press has to lie in its
independence and the lack of subservience to
advertisers or students' councils or university
administrations, the general public, the downtown
community, the alumni. It is essential that the
campus newspaper maintain absolute independence
from any outside pressure group.
MR. SMITH: I have to agree with most of what
Mike has said. The issues which campus newspapers
deal with have to be written within the context of
our own campus environment. Editors have got to
stop transplanting issues from other countries. This is
a lesson which some campus radicals still have to
MR. FINLAY: If my viewpoint shifted at all last
year it was simply that I tried to become more honest
with myself in writing editorials that conveyed the
state of existence rather than succumbing to the
manipulations of the establishment, whether it was
the university establishment or the radical
establishment. At the same time, looking back, I wish
now that I could have exerted more control over the
material that went into the papers and I regret some
of the editorials that I wrote, not because I feel they
may have offended people but because I feel that I
got sucked in by the various establishments.
UBC REPORTS: One final question. Most of the
students who work for The Ubyssey, at least the ones
I talked to, are planning careers quite unrelated to
journalism. It seems to me that many years ago The
Ubyssey was a training ground for metropolitan daily
newspapers both in Vancouver and elsewhere in
Canada. The newspapers of Canada are littered with
people who began their careers on The Ubyssey. This
seems to have altered quite radically in recent years.
Can either of you offer any explanation to me why
students should not be planning careers in
MR. FINLAY: This is one of the questions which
was brought up when the Special Senate Committee
on Mass Media, chaired by Senator Keith Davey,
came to Vancouver to get the low-down from the
working journalist. The problems are many. For one
thing, the newspaper is generally an apologist for the
establishment, because it's the establishment that
runs newspapers. The big-money advertisers keep it in
business — and I mean business in the foulest sense of
the word — and you can't bite the grubby old
bourgeois hand that feeds you. Consequently, the
student journalist is faced with joining a paper that is
generally more interested in making money and
presenting establishment views than it is in getting
good stories and working for reform.
Secondly, the chain ownership of newspapers has
emphasized even more the business aspect of it.
There's no longer any competition. And the men who
run the chains are businessmen, not newspapermen.
What do they care what goes in the paper, as long as
it makes money?
Thirdly, it's just not very exciting work. A
reporter on a contemporary Canadian daily is
basically a technician, a mechanic who puts facts into
English. You get your assignment and you do it in
standard form. There's little room for imagination or
freedom. Most of the time, when you try something
different, it gets shot down. So eventually, you give
Canadian newspapers are in bad shape. As
businesses, they can only survive as a narcotic, a habit
the public can't shake. But they won't be interesting,
exciting or informative. And they certainly won't be
progressive. I've never much liked the idea of
mouthing someone else's ideas and this, coupled with
the dullness of the job, is why the newspaper business
is unattractive to me.
MR. SMITH: No one ever really knows how badly
off he is until he sees a concrete alternative. In the
past, student newspapers aped the commercial press
and the move from one to the other was fairly
natural. The journalism of The Ubyssey and the
journalism of The Sun were one and the same thing,
so most of the people involved never considered
whether it could be anything else.
Today, however, the contrasts point out the
deficiencies of the commercial press. The freedom
that the student journalist has points out the lack of
it for his commercial counterpart. Our willingness to
innovate draws attention to the professional
conservatism in the commercial press. The fact that
we have rejected certain journalistic principles the
commercial press cherishes, and are getting along very
well without them, is enough to prove that those
principles are invalid or outdated.
UBC Reports/Nov. 26, 1970/9 CAROLS FOR OLD
Few institutions in the history of the University of
British Columbia have been more conducive to the
development of lasting friendships and nostalgic
memories than the converted army huts that made up
Fort and Acadia Camps.
The huts, brought to the campus after the Second
World War, provided lecture and laboratory space and
served as homes for hundreds of veterans who
returned to UBC to complete their University careers
or begin them. As humorist Eric Nicol once
wisecracked in his column: "UBC's army huts have
seen more service in the war against ignorance than
they ever saw in the war against Hitler."
Most of Acadia Camp, pictured above, much of
which housed married students and faculty members
and their families, is now gone and the former inmates
are scattered all over the continent. An anonymous
graduate sent to the editor of UBC Reports three
mimeographed sheets of "Christmas carols," which
were sung to traditional melodies in days gone by in
the campus.
The carols are interesting because they reveal that
many of the problems that beset students and faculty
members in the late 1940s are still issues on the
campus. There were protest meetings in those days
(see "O Little Town of Bethlehem"), Christmas
exams were a bugbear (see "God Rest You Merry,
Gentlemen") and promotion and tenure were potent
factors in those days too (see "Santa Claus is Coming
to Town").
The editors of UBC Reports hope that all our
readers, and especially old campers, will find the
carols amusing. To all of you we wish a Merry
Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
Tune: "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen!"
God help you, young instructor; you're right to feel dismay.
Remember all your marks are due before this Christmas Day.
The registrar wants to send out without undue delay
His tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy.
His tidings of comfort and joy.
You've got two hundred papers, subjective every one.
And if you don't keep at it, there'll be no Christmas fun.
No holidays or jollity until you get them done.
Nor tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy.
Nor tidings of comfort and joy.
Check your addition every time, re-read all failures twice.
Note down the names to interview and offer good advice.
Your reading must be careful, your discrimination nice.
Or they'll hold it against you, my boy! against you, my boy!
And in that there's neither comfort nor joy.
Tune: "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
O little hut of long ago, we turn our thoughts to thee
And all the joys and woes we knew in Shrum's dear slummery.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream, may bear all else away.
But memories, like those huts, will last until the Judgement Day.
Remember the protest meetings? The night the tires went flat?
The witch's brews concocted in barrel, crock, and vat?
The line-ups in the laundry? The transportation strike?
And Stan Read licking ice-cream cones while riding on his bike?
The New Year's Eve of '48 when the water-pipes all froze?
And who jumped into a swimming pool while wearing all his clothes?
The "New Look" contest Sally won? The mud, the tar, the chills?
And, most of all, the altitude of those electric bills?
"Our woes will serve for sweet discourse in times that are to come."
Said Shakespeare, and we must agree, "You said a mouthful, chum!"
We may not have the bounce we once possessed in such great store.
But we can celebrate in song the days that are no more.
Tune: "Away in a Manger"
Away in Acadia, no room for their beds,
The faculty children lay down their wee heads.
With Mummy and Daddy, and Auntie and Gran,
We stack them in layers wherever we can.
They bless dear Dean Shrum as they go to their beds
For providing a roof to go over their heads.
Acadia children in thy tender care
Only wish that you, too, had to live with them there.
Tune: "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas"
I'm dreaming of a down payment
Of slightly less than one percent.
I'd sell my Soul to the devil
For a six-room split-level,
And pay off the mortgage just like rent.
It needn't have a picture window
Or be absolutely new.
I'm more interested in space
Than architectural grace.
I'd even do without a view.
I'm tired of communal living.
Tired of no place to put my books,
I'm tired of slumming
With incomplete plumbing
And bedrooms the size of breakfast nooks.
I'm dreaming of a down payment
On a small house in West Point Grey.
Dear old Saint Nick,
Do the trick.
And send a cheque on Christmas Day!
Tune: "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
You want to get out of camp? Well, what a surprise!
Then, here are the rules, if you want to rise.
The merit-meter mirks it all down.
Give public lectures whenever you're invited.
Stand up for principle, but don't get too excited.
The merit-meter's marking it down.
Don't let it catch you sleeping;
Let it know when you're awake.
It knows if you've been bad or good.
So be good for tenure's sake.
Don't go away on summer vacations.
Remember the importance of public relations.
The merit-meter marks it all down.
Do your full share of administration.
Add every year at least one publication.
The merit-meter's marking it down.
Don't get caught leaving your class in the lurch
But remember your primary job is research.
That's what the meter marks down.
For cheap popularity you shouldn't be reaching
But see that no student objects to your teaching.
The merit-meter's marking it down.
Material gain should not be your obsession.
Remember that yours is a privileged profession.
Even though your hut may be damp.
Seek for the truth and to hell with the dollars.
Remembering that this is a community of scholars,
And you may make it out of this camp.
10/U6C Reports/Nov. 26. 1970 UBC NEWS
8, B.C.
Some UBC graduates living in the Vancouver area
received two copies of the issue of UBC Reports
dated Oct. 29 and others received no paper. This was
the result of an error in the machinery which prepares
address labels for the paper. Graduates who did not
receive the edition of Oct. 29 are invited to write to
UBC's Department of Information Services for a
Library Contract Let
UBC's Board of Governors has awarded
construction contracts totalling nearly $7,000,000,
including one for the new Sedgewick Library to be
built under the Main Mall of the campus.
The $3,306,000 contract for the Sedgewick
Library, which will seat 2,000 students and house
180,000 volumes when complete, has been awarded
to Cana Construction Co. Ltd.
Also awarded were contracts for:
• A 12-storey office-seminar room extension to the
Buchanan Building to contain 267 faculty offices and
nine seminar rooms, each seating 15 students. Frank
Stanzl Construction Ltd. will build the extension at a
cost of $2,596,754 on the site of the former Women's
•A new Civil and Mechanical Engineering Building
to be built on Stores Road between the East and
Main Malls. A $1,057,000 contract has been awarded
to Biely Construction for the one-storey building,
which will provide shop and laboratory facilities as
well as some faculty offices.
The design of the Sedgewick Library by the
Vancouver architectural firm of Rhone and Iredale is
an ingenious solution to a seemingly insoluble
problem: creation of a new library facility where
studies show it ought to be — immediately west of
the existing Main Library — without destroying the
traditional character of the Main Mall and the
adjacent lawns.
The solution arrived at makes it possible to
preserve all but one of the 40-year-old northern red
oaks and the vistas they frame along UBC's Main
A second aim of the architects was the creation of
an appropriate environment for learning, which has
been achieved by designing the Library so that its east
and west'faces will open onto landscaped courtyards
in front of the Main Library and the Mathematics
Eight concrete caissons — each 30 feet in diameter
— will be built around the roots of the oaks lining the
Main Mall and incorporated into the building. The
future Main Mall will have staircases leading clown to
Library entrances and a double skylight will offer a
view down into the Library and serve as a light
beacon at night.
The new Sedgewick Library, which will be
complete in 18 months, is designed to correct a
critical lack of Library space for undergraduate
students.   (Edition of Nov. 5, 1970).
Pollution Report
UBC faculty members in many varied disciplines
are currently involved in pollution teaching and
research and additional courses and meaningful
research projects are in the planning stage.
These are the main findings of a four-man
committee on pollution established by President
Walter H. Gage as the result of a Senate resolution in
January of this year.
The committee report, submitted to the regular
monthly meeting of Senate in IVovember, also points
out that "the overall problem of pollution as a
long-range problem of mankind should be approached
on an interdisciplinary basis so that all aspects of the
problem and the possible effects of a suggested course
of action may be considered."
The committee, chaired by Prof. F.E. Murray,
head of the Department of Chemical Engineering,
said in its report that many faculty members, in
replying to requests for information, made comments
on what they felt the University should be doing
about the pollution problem.
"As expected," the report said, "the applied
scientists felt that an expanded program in
technology was required, the ecologists felt that a
better understanding of ecology was required and the
social scientists felt a greater social science input was
The report describes three interdisciplinary
projects underway or in the formative stage on the
UBC campus and said that a number of individuals
had expressed the feeling that a meaningful
interdisciplinary approach to pollution research was a
definite requirement.
In response to a request for information the
committee received 23 replies from faculty members
which indicated "a very broad spectrum of individual
interests and of individual involvement in the
pollution field."
A total of nine campus departments — the bulk of
them in the Faculties of Applied Science and
Agricultural Sciences — are engaged in "substantial
technical work in the field of pollution control" with
two or more faculty members involved in teaching
and/or research, the committee found. (Edition of
Nov. 19, 1970).
* * *
Campus Graphics
One of Canada's top firms of graphic designers is
behind a series of new entrance pillars and street signs
that are the harbingers of a program designed to help
visitors and students find their way around UBC's
sometimes confusing campus.
Paul Arthur and Associates, the Toronto firm
which has worked out the program in conjunction
with a UBC committee, has not only designed similar
programs for United States universities and colleges
but was the firm behind the graphics at Expo 67,
often held up as an example of clarity and simplicity.
The new program is a response to complaints from
a variety of people — visitors, students and faculty
members — over a long period of time about the poor
quality or absence of signs on the campus.
The first phase of the program, which will be
completed over a period of four years providing funds
are available, involves the erection of 18-foot-high
entrance pillars, a series of 12-foot pillars which
direct visitors to four control kiosks where maps and
information about UBC are available, and
9-foot-pillars to indicate street intersections.
The next step in the program will be the creation
of a series of information centers at heavily-trafficked
campus points where visitors will be able to consult
maps and where notice boards for University and
student events will be located.
A key feature of the plan is the division of the
campus into color-coded zones. Seven such zones
have been designated so far and all graphic elements
within each zone — entrance and information pillars,
street intersection pillars and building signs — will
involve the use of the color assigned to that zone.
(Edition of Nov. 19, 1970).
Two Appointed
UBC's Board of Governors has appointed Prof. A.
Donald Moore as head of the Department of
Electrical Engineering and Prof. Ben Moyls as acting
head of the Institute of Applied Mathematics and
Prof. Moore, who has been a member of the UBC
faculty since 1949, has been acting head of electrical
engineering since the death on Aug. 1, 1969, of Prof.
Frank Noakes.
Prof. Moyls, who will serve as acting head of the
Institute of Applied Mathematics and Statistics until
a permanent director is named, has been a UBC
faculty member since 1947 and will also continue to
serve as assistant dean of the Faculty of Graduate
Studies, a post he has held since 1966.
The new Institute will coordinate advanced
teaching in statistics and applied mathematics and
promote   the   growth   of   interdisciplinary   research
activity in these fields. (Edition of Nov. 5, 1970).
*       *       *
UBC Research
Reduced federal government spending meant an
increase of only $227,733 for research at UBC in the
1969-70 academic year. This increase is in sharp
contrast to increases which UBC received in previous
The 1968-69 increase over the previous year was
$2,527,804 and the 1967-68 increase over 1966-67
was $1,834,406.
Despite the federal government's cutback, UBC
research expenditures of more than $14.4 million in
1969-70 are of the same order of magnitude as the
University of Toronto, which spends about $16
million on research.
Almost 75 per cent of UBC's research funds come
from the federal government and the two faculties
which spend the most on research are Science and
Medicine. (Edition of Nov. 5, 1970).
# * *
Trees Available
British Columbia is renowned for its tree-sprouting
climate but never quite like this.
The University of B.C. has successfully grown
seedlings from the sycamore tree under which
Hippocrates, father of modern medicine, is believed
to have taught 2,500 years ago on the island of Kos.
The seeds were brought to B.C. three years ago by
Dr. Oscar Sziklai, associate professor in the Faculty
of Forestry. He and Prof. William Gibson, head of the
Department of the History of Medicine and Science,
want to use the seedlings to help construct a
$300,000 east-west meeting center for world
medicine being built on Kos by the International
Hippocratic Foundation.
The Hippocratic Tree on the Greek island is about
50 feet high and seven feet in diameter. It is almost
hollow. Its enormous and ancient branches are
supported by marble columns and wooden sticks.
Readers wanting a few seedlings, which grow from
one to three feet a year under west coast conditions
when planted in moist, well-drained soil, should
phone 228-2727 or 228-2273 not later than March
31, 1971. There will be no charge for trees picked up
at UBC. But any small donation will go towards the
east-west medical center.
Dear Sir:
As a graduate of Sir George Williams University,
Class of '62, Montreal, I read with interest the panel
DOES IT MEAN? The panel participants appeared to
be intelligent, well-informed and concerned and it
was only when I came to Miss O'Donnell's final
comment that I burst out laughing.
Miss O'Donnell states, and I quote from UBC
Reports, Oct/'70, "That we cannot wait until the
Government actually declares war and sends troops in
to kill our brothers and sisters in Quebec." It would
seem that Miss O'Donnell has not fully realized that
the only people so far who have killed their brothers
and sisters in Quebec are the F.L.Q.! They have also
maimed some brothers and sisters and have been
stealing and storing weapons and dynamite for years.
Just for fireworks?
I happened to be not far away from one of the
post boxes that were blown up by the F.L.Q.
terrorists in 1963. If I had been much nearer, I'd have
been in tiny fragments like the post box. The
apartment house across the street had all its windows
blown in. Later, the same day, a "brother," who was
trying to defuse a bomb in a mail box, was horribly
maimed for life.
I agree with Miss O'Donnell that the citizens of
Quebec are our brothers and sisters in the family of
man. They are also our fellow Canadians. This
includes the F.L.Q., who obviously need, in some
enlightened way, the help and understanding of us all.
Meantime, I believe the sternest measures of restraint
were necessary. The Mayor of Montreal, the Premier
of the province of Quebec and the Prime Minister of
Canada all thought so too. They are men worthy of
respect and they are all believers in, and guardians of,
our civil liberties.
Toronto, Ont. Marion Catto
UBC Reports/Nov. 26,1970/11 Amm^ UBC ALUMNI    ■ ■
Students   squat   on   SUB   ballroom   floor   intently
discussing lecture heard earlier in PEOPLE program,
which aims at helping students develop more open
and honest relations with others.
Fund Honors
Frank Noakes
The UBC Alumni Fund organization has taken on
the task of coordinating the Frank Noakes Memorial
Fund campaign for UBC's Department of Electrical
This is a specialized appeal directed at UBC
graduates in electrical engineering and members of
the public interested in electrical engineering
education. The fund has been established in memory
of the late Dr. Frank Noakes, head of the Department
of Electrical Engineering and acting dean of Applied
Science until his death in 1969. The intention is to
set up a fund of $10,000 to be used to provide
bursaries to needy, academically qualified students in
electrical engineering in the expectation they will feel
a responsibility to reimburse the fund at a later date.
Fund-raising is currently well underway. It was
launched with a $500' gift from the UBC 1970
graduating class and $100 from the Engineering
Undergraduate Society. Recently Selkirk College
contributed $500 to the Frank Noakes Memorial
Fund as an expression of thanks for assistance Dr.
Noakes rendered the college in developing its
electronics program.
The PEOPLE Program
There are so many people sitting on the floor you
can forget about trying to cross the SUB ballroom.
There is a large wooden stage in the center with half a
dozen microphones leaning out towards the
expectant hundreds. The lights are typically dim and
electricians rush around trying to straighten the
jungle of cords. Every Monday is different and not
even the speaker knows precisely what will happen.
About half past seven, late as usual, the fourth session
of PEOPLE begins.
Last time. Dr. Lee Pulos, noted behavioralist, led
almost 1,000 students in a mass sensitivity session
which he titled "An Encounter In Honesty." This
time. Dr. Ferdinand Knobloch, a new member of
UBC's Psychiatry Department, will take the
experience a little further and try to verbalize it.
But whatever this Monday holds in store, it is not
just a sex education program or a mass encounter
group. PEOPLE is an experience in human sexuality.
"The program is on human interaction and
relations, with sex as a major part, instead of being a
sex education program with other things thrown in,"
says Rob Newmarch, a second-year Arts student and
one of seven members of the PEOPLE executive.
"Too often, sex education is thought of as little
more than dealing with the genitality of human
beings. PEOPLE deals with a much broader concept
involving the physical, emotional and social aspects of
human relationships."
The idea for the program arose several years ago
out of the recommendations of the steering
committee on health education established by the
provincial Departments of Health and Education.
Acting upon the submission of that committee to the
Board of Teacher Education, Dean Neville Scarfe, of
the Faculty of Education, asked the faculty and
students to come up with a program.
"The faculty didn't seem interested, so two years
ago the education students took it on in an attempt
to provide something to students no other course on
campus is doing." said Sean McHugh, a fourth-year
Science student, who is the director of PEOPLE. "It
started purely as a sex education program, but since
then we have broadened our perspectives to include
12/U8C Reports/Nov. 26, 1970
all human relations. Our bias is that people are
alienated out here on campus, unable to share their
feelings, even in seminar groups. Basically we want to
create an atmosphere that is conducive to open and
honest exchange of ideas."
We have just finished walking around the ballroom
with our eyes shut, bumping into people and forming
groups of eight. "How many of you think you can
tell others what you find good about yourself?" Dr.
Knobloch asks. Less than half raise their hands. One
group climbs on the stage and he repeats the
One girl stands up and says she likes people, is
continually trying to improve herself, is unselfish, and
"believe it or not, I'm modest." Are you nervous
saying these things to a crowd of 1,000? "No, not in
the least. I left my contact lenses at home, and I can't
see a thing."
"The mass lecture-experience in the ballroom is
supposed to provide stimulation and material for the
discussion groups that follow," says Sean. "These are
really, the most valuable part of the program." Led by
group leaders chosen in September, these may
contain five to 12 members who meet either on
campus or in someone's home. Some continue well
past midnight.
The group leaders range in age from 17 to 47 and
few have any experience in leading groups of this
sort. For this reason the emphasis is on discussion
rather than sensitivity, but the decision as to the
nature of the group experience is made by each
individual team.
"We had hoped that through the discussions every
person who participates is going to learn the value of
every other person as a unique individual, but
everyone has a right to their own 'space' and no one
else has the right to interfere with it," said Sean. This
means that the leaders do not force anyone into
encounters who doesn't want them, but let the nature
of the group develop from its members. This puts the
responsibility for the success of the program on the
participants themselves. We don't guarantee anyone
who signs up a good discussion group; that's up to
Our discussion group has nine people today. Some
are disappointed at having to come back to the old
groups because they had just started getting
somewhere with the one Dr. Knobloch had had them
form. Our leader has brought a candle and some wine
and we sit in a small circle somewhat at a loss. "I'm
really annoyed that some groups walked out in the
middle of the ballroom experience," one says We all
agree discussions are easier after lectures rather than
after sensitivity sessions.
The people who probably get the most out of the
program are the group leaders. They were chosen
before the program got underway after they had
answered notices put up around the campus and been
"The group leaders this year are far more
representative of the whole campus," says Sean.
"Before they were mostly in Nursing and Medicine,
but there is at least one leader from almost every
faculty. We were looking for people with an open
mind, who were flexible and |who didn't think they
knew it all. The leaders we have this year are
generally very open and genuinely interested in
working with people."
The 69 leaders received their training at Camp
Potlatch over Thanksgiving weekend. There they
experienced sensitivity sessions led by trained
sociologists, and more important, developed into a
closely-knit group. All seven members of the
executive are group leaders to insure they see
first-hand how the program is developing. As well as
the initial training, group leaders meet every week to
discuss their progress and new ideas.
The budget for the program is just under $10,000,
only part of which is covered by the $3 fee for
participation. The rest is raised by associations on
campus, such as the medical and teachers'
associations and the deans. The UBC Alumni Fund
has contributed $800 and this year there was also a
grant from the president. Most of this goes towards
group leader training and gifts for speakers.
''But we want this to become a
University-financed project because it is something
desperately needed on campus," said Sean.
Afterwards, group leaders meet in SUB to discuss
this week's session over a bottle of beer. "Did you
have a satisfying experience?" Every answer is


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