Soapbox - 12

Our Western fixation with monetary value has skyrocketed over the past few decades. By no means am I saying money is entirely a bad thing Ėitís a tool, of course. What I am getting at is that this very obsession is screwing us over.

Let’s take the University as an example. It’s no secret that the University of Otago is a business first and an institution of learning second. For years they’ve been buying every building they can get their hands on. While this does have some benefits, such as more jobs and better housing conditions, it also has its cons.
It’s removing our student culture. Chunk by chunk it’s being torn apart. They’ve taken down the Bowler and our beloved Gardies. Okay, so it’s not the end of the world, but for those of you who have been around a while – remember the amount of fun you had getting loose in those places? Most freshers don’t even know what the Bowler was! (Who would have guessed that two years ago?) If this VSM stuff pulls through that’ll be another nail in the coffin. Sure. the OUSA isn’t the most efficient organisation, but guess what you ACT-supporting cretins? It’s not meant to be a fucking business, it’s an organisation dedicated to helping students. This is exactly what I’m getting at – focusing too much on the money side leaves no room for the intangible. Not everything can be measured and valued precisely.
Many Commerce students inherently adopt this money-orientated approach to life. Some are fixated on getting awesome marks in their Economics degree, or whatever, on the assumption that they are going to make heaps of money. The ironic thing is that our Scarfie culture is actually something that employers want in their workers. I guess not so much the ‘shagging everyone’ and ‘throwing up everywhere’ part, but the character it builds. The friends you make, the social skills you develop, and independence you gain, all put you at an advantage over those boring wangs who live at home in Auckland. On top of that, those very people who you have to carry home after a big night are our future doctors, lawyers, and CEOs. Think about what our current doctors, lawyers, and CEOs used to do. Do you think employers want a straight A+ student who’s socially awkward?
Being here is much more than obtaining a piece of paper and an exorbitant loan. Money and happiness are not mutually exclusive but they sure as hell don’t go hand and hand. Don’t let the greedy cunts get the better of us. Greed has driven this university to become an assembly line of education. It is eroding the very thing that makes being a Scarfie the experience it is. I guess it doesn’t matter for you too much, though; you’re only here for a few more years and then you’ll end up with a sweet job. What do you care if the University buys Castle Street within the next ten years? At least you’ll have fond memories of getting a sandwich from Frank’s.
Posted 4:31pm Sunday 11th July 2010 by Tom Taylor .