The Leek | Issue 06

The Leek | Issue 06

Keep Calm and Carry Your Wallet

Amid tight government funding, falling enrolments and increased operational costs, the University of Otago has had to accept a rather tight budget for 2013 in order to continue to provide students with the high-quality services we’ve grown so accustomed to. At a University Council meeting, Vice-Chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said that that given this environment, the budget “was not easy to balance.” Despite this pessimistic statement, it seems that the cuts and money-saving techniques the university has implemented to date have gone almost entirely unnoticed by staff and students alike.

On account of this observation (and perhaps as a desperate bid for attention), the powers that be have deemed it appropriate to make further and more drastic changes regarding the university’s resources. The vast expanses of grass that cover our campus have been identified as a waste of space. In order to optimise the use of this land, it will soon be leased as pasture to small farm owners who wish to raise livestock in an urban environment. Areas that will be affected include the Union Lawn, Logan Park, the bits on either side of the river, and that weird part in front of the museum that everyone hurries through.

In subjects that change very little with time, location and social climate (e.g. law, economics, politics, neuroscience) lecturers will soon be substituted with educational videos sourced from the archives of the former Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China – subtitled where possible. Further efforts to decrease faculty size will see the skilled but unnecessary doctors at Student Health dismissed in favour of a solitary veterinarian and our diligent Campus Watch replaced by a fleet of possums.

Immeasurable success is predicted in this venture. The University’s 1,247 printers are to be auctioned off, usurped by a taskforce of Vietnamese children who will handwrite any documents you require on the spot, in about half the time a printer would take to procure them.

These changes may seem extreme, but the university recognises that the little things count, too. With this in mind, a new ban on students bringing their own food and beverages to campus will be strictly enforced with routine bag checks, and online resources such as Blackboard and PIMS will only be accessible with a valid credit card. In addition to this, a 50˘-per-turn charge will be applied to all drinking fountains, sinks and toilets on campus and the expensive 0.5-ply toilet paper in the restrooms will be replaced with unlimited free copies of Victoria University’s student magazine, Salient. Go to town on it.
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2013.
Posted 4:40pm Sunday 7th April 2013 by Campbell Ecklein.