Saturday, February 24, 2018

Open Space: For our collective benefit

November 2, 2016 by Aaron Stefik, contributing writer

Dearest reader,

Allow me to draw your attention to the crisis of the student debt and all of its attendant problems, a concern on whose unhappy nature much has recently been written, and for whose reformation far more precedent yet remains. I am astonished, bystander though I am, that a certain collection of glaringly obvious solutions has yet to be proposed, for the evidence is now beyond all refutation.

This story originally appeared in our November 2, 2016 issue.

This story originally appeared in our November 2, 2016 issue.

To begin, we shall treat on the ever-persistent concern of the modern local students’ regrettable inability to feed themselves, the cost of groceries now what they are. The answer lies in whacking two birds—or, more specifically, two deer—with one proverbial stone. Those who live in the areas surrounding Camosun College have had great reason of late to complain of the number of these dreadful creatures running amok; left unchecked, no rational soul would deny the inevitability of their overrunning the city. If the college were to merely offer courses in the time-honoured practice of hunting, then parties of students might reasonably be organized to quell the beasts, thusly providing an easy source of sustenance for thousands of impoverished students. Venison will be found a simple and hearty fare, and, rest assured, the complexity of its preparation is only mildly greater than that of our current staple of instant ramen.

But what, I hear you cry, of the entwined housing dilemma? I proffer a reminder that the campuses have to their name some 250 acres of land, much of it unused. A donation fund should thus be started to aid in providing all wanting students with camping tents in which to reside on the local grounds on a semi-permanent basis—a “tent city,” if you will. I can imagine no recent precedent that might give cause to object to this idea. As for the tents themselves, I measure that a single tent will prove sufficient for three students, the college’s own budget being what it is.

Thirdly, there remains the matter of the debt itself. Estimating that an agreement with the banks holding these debts may be reached, their ownership should be transferred immediately to the college itself. Their creditors now conveniently located upon the campus, the students would then be set to work as indentured labour until their obligation is paid, performing the countless menial tasks which maintain the school’s general functions, and in the process gaining a fresh appreciation for such often overlooked industry.

There are some unimaginative souls who will balk at the boldness of my scheme, and an equal number, I conceive, who might name me callous or disconnected in the approach. To these obstructionists, I submit as proof of my intentions and sympathy the many hard minutes I myself have sacrificed in crafting this treatise.

The days ahead will be grim and spartan, I concede, but with spears in hand, tents at our backs, and deer carcasses slung ruggedly over our shoulders, I cannot doubt for an instant that the tenacious spirit of the Camosun student body will rise to the challenge.

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