|Subject: York University, SHAME ON YOU!!
Written by Sarah Millar, Assistant News Editor
Wednesday, 17 May 2006
When the news that the Accolade Buildings might be renamed after Tribute, students and professors alike sprung into action. Tribute is the company that was allegedly involved in a controversial land deal with York in March 2002 (although an inquiry has determined that this was not the case).
Petitions were filed against the decision and people protested the change because it would be the first time that an academic building on York´s Keele campus would be named after a corporation.
But the problem with the protest is that it holds no merit. York is already a very corporate campus as it is.
As an example, the university is currently dealing with Pepsi Cola to exclusively sell Pepsi products in exchange for funding. For another, take a look at our Student Centre. Popular, corporate fast-food outlets are among our only dining options - Wendy´s, Taco Bell, KFC - to name a few. Or, what if you want a cup of coffee on campus? There is something for everyone: Tim Hortons, Treats, Starbucks and, of course, the place with a lineup no matter when you go, Second Cup. We´re also known as "the university with the mall."
At other universities, students have fought the corporate influence on campus when a fast-food outlet opens. For example, five years ago, Carleton students protested the opening of a Tim Hortons on campus because they feared it would take business away from the student-run coffee shops. Although they lost and the Tim Hortons opened anyway, at least their reasoning to protest was not as contradictory as it is at York. Meanwhile, over at Brock University, they have a building named after Stelco, as well as a bridge connecting two buildings named after Canadian Tire.
Although many people still believe that York and Tribute were involved in a land scam deal, it doesn´t matter now. The land was sold, housing was built and it was all done under the name of Tribute.
On top of that, Tribute donated quite a large sum of money to York, which should somehow be recognized on campus. Besides, what is the difference between an individual donating money to the university and getting a building named after them and a corporation doing the same thing?
We live in a corporate society-just look at the Rogers Centre or the Air Canada Centre. Naming buildings after corporations is just a part of life in the world we live in. But if we must protest this change, maybe we should take a look around at the other ways corporations have taken over our campus.
Think about that the next time you´re in line for coffee at Second Cup instead of at a York-run shop like the Ab.