UBC Prioritizes Octogenarians Over Student Life


A proposal went though recently to put a hospice on campus. This seems like a great way for UBC to make some extra coin on some of the campuses unused land. Problem though – one of the proposed sites for the hospice is behind St. John’s College – right next to first year residence Place Vanier (check out the proposed site here and the rest of them here). Obviously, PPPAC (the group with the responsibility to vet many of the incoming proposals) don’t have their heads screwed on straight.

Putting an end of life facility next to a residence could be UBC’s greatest artistic experiment in juxtaposition, but it won’t due students any favours. This is the moral equivalent of making a nuclear testing ground a national park. New lines in the residence contract (already one of the most misunderstood and worst written documents on campus) would have to state the following:

Residents shall not make any noise about 0.5 decibels after the designated ‘Lights Out’ time at St. John Hospice – 6:00pm. Residents are also prohibited from playing any rap music including: anything that has some black chap who is a high school dropout with his pants around his knees causingĀ  a ruckus.

The rest of the contract would be outlined from this site.

This is maybe the most absurd thing to happen to the campus in my 5 year memory. But there are things we can do to stop it. The UBC Board of Governors is voting on the proposal on September 17th. After that the Residence for the Soon-to-be-Dead will become a reality. There is still time to e-mail you BOG rep and voice your opposition. Student reps are Bijan Ahmadian and Michael Duncan. You can reach them at bijan(at)bijan(dot)ca and michael(dot)ubc(at)gmail(dot)com. There is also a Facebook group that you can join to spread the word about what is happening.

Stay tuned to Terry, my site, and UBC Insiders for all the up to date information.

Also, be sure to check out Alex Lougheed’s excellent recap of the progression so far.

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Geoff is a 5th year student who studying a double major in Integrated Science (Evolutionary ecology, virology) and Political Science. He was the 'Wish' speaker at the 2008 Terry Talks and is passionate about university education, especially when it comes to interdisciplinary experiences. After graduation Geoff wants to find a job that allows him to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds and share stories. If your savvy enough you can follow Geoff on Twitter - user: gcosteloe.

2 Responses to “UBC Prioritizes Octogenarians Over Student Life”

  1. Jon

    You seem to have confused a hospice with an old people’s home. The two are quite distinct.

    And in any case, what would be wrong with putting octogenarians before student life?

    Oh, and what’s with the racist type-casting of rap musicians?

    This is a bizarre post.

  2. Tom McLaughlin

    Hi Geoff!

    I couldn’t agree more that putting a hospice next to a junior residence is a terrible idea. Students in Place Vanier would probably be completely unaware of the function of the new building (as, for example, most would currently have difficulty describing what goes on at St. John’s College), and would loudly walk through on their way to parties in Totem. I encourage UBC students and representatives to prevent this site from being developed.

    However, I think that a general opposition to a university hospice is not necessary. There is a desperate shortage of end-of-life beds in British Columbia. Most people on waiting lists die of their terminal illness while being cared for in hospital (where they use expensive facilities designed for more acute care) or by their families (who are usually woefully unequipped to handle the emotional and technical aspects of a dying person). Sites 1 and 2, and especially site 8, that are also included in the proposal, seem very much out of the way from student life. I can’t see much of a reason to oppose a development there.

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