Tag Archives: University of British Columbia

So who is Phelix?

A picture of the fountain I ranted about in an earlier post about unnecessary construction at the University of British Columbia…

Squeezing a shot through a barbed wire fence. It’s ironic how there’s a crane in the background.

Getting back on track, I finally took a picture of the “Me Gusta Phelix” stencil that has been on campus for at least 5 months, maybe more.

Me gusta Phelix.

Maybe you remember my encounter with Phelix from an earlier post of mine? If not, there is always this tumblr. More central to our discussion, is that supposed to be George Harrison?

Not too far away is a stencil of this set of years:

1942 2012.

These 2 years clearly meant a lot to someone [notice that the hyphen is  missing]. Was it a singular event that had occurred over the duration of the years between 1942-2012, or 2 disparate events that are somehow connected by these 2 years? Building onto the pop culture theme that is Phelix, I looked up a list of famous people who died in the year 2012. Surprisingly, none of them were born in 1942. My first line of investigation however, was whether something had happened at UBC in 2012…and nope. Nothing comes to mind.

If anybody has any idea, drop me a comment!

Edit (2/22/2013): explanation provided by a friend (thanks Gordon!)

1942: Japanese Canadians UBC students forced to enter internment camps. As a result, many couldn’t complete their degrees.
2012: Former students from 1942 are given honorary degrees as an apology from the university.

Location explanation: The UBC Library has been involved archiving the event with a digital collection, although there is nothing specific to Koerner to the best of my knowledge.

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University of Billion Construction

Over the years, I’ve heard many different and ironic interpretations of the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s acronym. There’re some less politically correct ones, “University of Billion Chinese” for example, referencing the high numbers of students with Chinese ancestry at the school [sometimes I get the feeling that students of different Asian backgrounds are ignorantly lumped into this category]; some downright hilarious ones “University of Bacon Cooking” [pokes fun at our school logo and what it looks like if you change the blue waves to red, see here.], and lately: “University of Billion Construction”.

Construction just never seems to stop at UBC. The building of the new SUB (student union building) is perhaps one of the projects that impact the most students right now (in fact, it impacts every single one of us who happen to use the SUB), but it is by no means the only project. No more cutting across the open space next to the old SUB to get to Hebb Theatre, no more Knoll (a symbolic grassy hill where students like to hang out on rain-less days, used to also be a place of protest), even the statue of the Goddess of Democracy has been relocated (although it looks more impressive where it is now).

The area next to the bookstore where a parking metered lot used to be has been transformed into what would eventually be a series of water features, and a fountain now stands there marking the geographic centre of campus. Students ask: do we really need all these water features? Although aesthetically pleasing, funding for such construction comes from our tuition. Just as funding for the new SUB has increased over the years in our student fees. We are building a future for students who have not even stepped foot onto campus, because surely the construction will not be completed until many of us are graduated. But is this a future that fosters learning and education? Will students feel more connected to campus if there is a fountain marking the symbolic crossroad on campus? Will old buildings with character get the renovation they need (think: Chem lecture seats), or will we just construct new buildings whose heating system is wonky 99% of the time (any Pharm students want to comment on that?)? We may be building a future that is easier on the eyes of tourists, but are we building a better future for our students, both present, and future?

Only time will tell.

Triforce.

Graffiti on dumpsters tend to stay for a long time, if not forever.

More Triforce.

*Edit: post has been edited for clarification, also this excerpt from our student newspaper (The Ubyssey) deserves a read and echoes my sentiments perfectly. 

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Academic graffiti?

Phelix was here.

Pretty awesome picture of the Clock tower with the central library (Irving K. Barber Learning Centre) in the background. Just a piece of paper taped onto a door. 10 points for Gryffindor if you know where it’s from! Just one of two sightings I’ve had of Phelix on campus (don’t ask me where the other one is, I’ve been trying to find it again to no avail).

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Boxy Critter

UBC community, meet the latest addition to the walls of the imposing Buchanan Tower.

The colour block seems somewhat arbitrary but adds a nice splash to what would otherwise be another patch of dull grey wall. The critter itself is reminiscent of the little mascots used on the pins promoting the campus IT service. Also looks a bit like an offspring of Kogepan and tetris. Seriously.

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Traitor on campus

A new stencil has just appeared on the UBC Vancouver campus! New and fresh, I present you with…

Traitor stencil and PASOE tag.

Kony? I love stencils with more than one colour; really makes it stand out on the red brick wall too!

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