SU bleeding campus of its spirit

School spirit, who needs it? The Students’ Union doesn’t seem to think we do.

The University of Calgary has always been known for lacking a sense of community and having a sense of apathy. This is probably because we’re a commuter school–many students just come for classes, leaving as soon as they’re over. While MacEwan Hall is packed midday, it quickly empties out as the day progresses.

The SU isn’t helping the problem. There are, or were, places in this school that people stayed for. While moving the campus institution known as the rock won’t adversely affect our community, the closures of McQ’s, the Black Lounge and the Den will.

Mr. Cho and his convenience store were on campus for 15 years. No cheap gum will make up for losing that familiar and friendly sight. How do you feel at home with people you don’t know?

The Black Lounge was a gathering place for students who knew each other and students who didn’t. How many friendships were made in that place, simply by bumming cigarettes? There aren’t any other places indoors on campus for smoking students to gather; most will simply spread to various entrance ways around campus, ruining that community.

The loss of the Den is perhaps the biggest blow of all. The Den was a place people knew, a place people had access to, a place people enjoyed going to. Stories, while they may be myths, tell of students whose parents met at the Den 20 years earlier. Max’s, and whatever new establishment will be built in the Den’s place, lack the history and ambience the Den collected over the years.

There may be nothing that can be done about McQ’s, but the Black Lounge needs to be replaced–soon. Give the lounge regulars a place to recreate their community. A bar needs to be built for which students can consider themselves a part, which means Max’s can’t simply be moved to that spot.

The Students’ Union may be trying to make good on their campaign promises, and the promises of the student governments before them, but they need to remember that a show on CJSW and the occasional event aren’t enough to foster a campus community.

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