The Enemies of Engagement

The Enemies of Engagement

  • Al Poettcker

One of the three masterminds behind the status-quo of development at UBC. Don’t let his title fool you. Although Al is CEO/President of UBC Properties Trust, a wholly owned subsidiary of UBC, he still has a ton of influence over the way development works on campus. Turnover in senior management has begin to cut these tentacles down in size, but we’ve yet to see strong action on rethinking the neighborhood philosophy, despite the failures it has caused around engagement. Because of the way Al’s vision has come to be, the New SUB Project runs the risk of not even occurring, because the AMS wants what it’s always done: build its own damn building.

  • Bob Phillips

    The athletics director who believes varsity should be run off the back of everyday students. Through Bob’s leadership, regular student access to athletics facilities had become downright embarrassing. In response to very high use fees, he claimed the model the department ran on was ‘charge those who use faculties for their usage’, which is a philosophy we agree with. Too bad he’s flat out lying, because we have some of the largest annual fees in the country. He has also refused to increase student influence over his department, through keeping opaque budgets, and limiting the responsibilities of the Athletics Council. Because of that, we can’t find out how much of his budget he dedicates to promotions to the student body, but we estimate it’s about $500/year. But don’t worry, NCAA Div 2 will change all that.

    • Dan Wendland

    Sgt. Dan is the RCMP officer responsible for the policy behind liquor control on campus. The many arms of the RBT have interacted with Wendland in many capacities, and each reports back frustration. For example, when inquiring about what regulations over SOL’s the detachment is now enforcing, Dan has been known to say that keeping track of that isn’t a worthwhile use of his time. Well, Dan, if community policing does not involve servicing the demands of the community, we think you’re in the wrong line of work.

    • Joe Stott

    As Director of Planning, Joe could revolutionize the way consultation is done on campus, but we continue to see no action. Instead, Joe is another one of those characters at UBC–the one who’s job seems to be more about public relations than public planning. He is a cog in the machine, but he’s a cog that’s been churning for over twenty years now. We wish he would rust more, and add some resistance in the machine.

    • Honorable Mention: UNA Dog Guy

    UNA Dog Guy is known by many, and loved by none, though his persistence is admirable. He shows up at every concert at T-Bird, and stands around yelling at passersby, despite RCMP orders to move along. We love UNA Dog Guy because he adds character to campus, but we hate all he stands for.

    • Honorable Mention: The AMS

    Arts County Fair was one of those things that defined UBC, and it was purely due to the volunteer efforts of a handful of dedicated masochists. At the end of the day, the event had to be canceled, but the AMS rubbed it in by refusing to repay the incurred debt. Thousands of students from all faculties are still pissed that the event isn’t happening anymore, and yet the AMS refuses to help bring it back. And no, Block Party isn’t the same.

    The Friends of Engagement

    • Stephen Toope

    Commander in chief. Dr. Toope came to UBC with a mess on his plate. Martha and Strangway took UBC and put it on a global stage, but at the cost of the campus. Toope won the hearts and minds of many students almost immediately, stating his priority is on teaching and learning. He is even an ally when it comes to the resistance against the War on Fun, having met with the Faction earlier this year. That said, his influence has been limited by being tied up with some crummy moves from the province, and a lack of resources, but we remain hopeful that after his epic fundraising campaign, resources are allocated to revitalize campus once again.

    • Carl Wieman

    Faculty are stubborn, and generally will not change unless provided a strong incentive to do so… or so we thought until Carl came along. Formally, UBC still doesn’t care much about a professor’s level of teaching, but Carl’s efforts in a couple of Science Departments have revitalized core curriculum and teaching practices to make early Science bearable. His dedication to the bottom line of classroom engagement, and willingness to fight bureaucracy when bureaucracy tries to stop him makes him a valuable friend.

    • Nancy Gallini

    The Dean who cares about what you have to think. One of the Deans with the hardest jobs (I would say Applied Science and Medicine have it worse), Nancy still finds time to stop and listen to students. You’ll know how positive and open she is if you’ve ever attended one of her frequent ‘meet the dean sessions’. In contrast, the Dean of Science’s office just started their own meet the dean sessions, at which the doctor played defend or deflect, instead of listen and empathize.

    • Marianne Schroeder

    If there’s one thing all AMS executives have agreed on, it’s that Marianne Schroeder is a goddess. Marianne has been a long-time employee of UBC, and has floated around the org chart to her current home between enrollment services and the office of learning technology. She’s responsible for implementing the student evaluations of teaching system, but has helped out students on many, many occasions when UBC was being difficult to work with. You may not see it, but the AMS is where it is, thanks to help from her. Her foot apparel (mostly sneakers) just further shows her commitment to the students.

    • Mike Duncan, when he blue himself all over the place

    UBC needs more memes, but of the ones we have, Mike is one of the best-known. “That blue guy”, “crazy pit dude”, “the pole dancer”, and later “the AMS president” is iconic at UBC. Always with a big grin and full of energy, more people recognize Mike as the UBC mascot than Storm, the actual mascot.

    • Honorable Mention: Geoff Atkins

    The AVP of Land and Building Services is the only AVP that can be found every year at the AMS Welcome Back BBQ. That, and he’s an Aussie that loves his drink. As such, we love him.


    2 Responses to “The Enemies of Engagement”

    1. December 21, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      Good luck with Dan Wendland. Fifteen years ago he was found neglegent in his duties and now he has charged my husband with uttering threats because he (Wendland) ‘has his panties in a knot’ (direct quote from the arresting officer.). We made a formal complaint to the ombudsman about rcmp harrasment and their involment in a drive by shooting in an attempt to murder us. Wendland changed the wording of the complaint and charged my husband, who is disabled, with uttering threats, instead of investigating the shooting. Once again neglegent in his duties. If you have a fax number we can send you documents from FOIA proving what I have just written. We also have youtube videos concerning this. http://www.youtube.com/townsendjim#p/u/4/S-GK99fqXlQhttp://www.youtube.com/townsendjim#p/u/4/S-GK99fqXlQ

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