Letters to the Editor: Sept. 19th, 2013

Your September 5 front-page photo of the backside of the new performing arts building jars my Sackville sensibilities. Is this the “striking Allisonian presence at the northwest corner of the campus core” as promised by President Robert Campbell in the winter 2012 issue of the Record?

Your article speaks to the question of spending priorities, and in particular I note the contribution of $10 million from operating funds over a six-year period to the cost of this project. Does this not fly in the face of what Vice-President David Stewart professes in the summer 2010 Record as ‘intergenerational equity’ at Mount Allison? Clearly students of today are paying a significant portion of their tuition for the benefit of future generations, in other words, students are not getting the education they pay for.

In 2012, the School of Art at the University of Manitoba moved into a new building adjacent to the historic Tache Hall named ARTlab. With the same $30 million project cost, ARTlab provides roughly forty percent more floor area. This would suggest that the budget of the new building at Mt. A is extravagant. Savings in the project cost could lower student tuitions and enhance academic programs.

Recently a friend recounted an anecdote illustrating the ‘striking Allisonian presence at the northwest corner of the campus core’. A motorist arriving in town was travelling west along Main Street looking for Mt. A. Approaching the sandstone monument at the corner of Salem and Main the driver stopped and asked my friend the question “Where is the university?”

– Robert Eaton

The inaugural Allison Avenue barbecue was held on Monday September 9 at the home of John and Janet Crawford.  Although the wind was rather cold that afternoon, the friendship was warm and the event was well attended. There were a dozen Mount Allison students who are newcomers to the street and about a dozen full-time residents on hand to meet and get to know each other. A good time was had by all.

John and I wanted to help get the year off on a good foot. Getting to know your neighbours is always the best way to work together and should any problems develop everyone is in a better position to deal with them

The food table quickly filled with potluck offerings from Helen Phinney from the Allison Arms apartments to remarkable meatballs prepared by the boys at 16 Allison, and of course the brownies made by Emily at 3 Allison were a big hit.

There were a number of people who were very generous and helpful with this event.  Andy Rose of Sackville Save Easy generously donated many of the food items, David Hunter of Pickles loaned us his barbecue, and Matt Allen helped transport the food cart to our house. The Town of Sackville assisted by loaning us a picnic table. Thanks to all very much.

John Cooney, a fourth year student from Ireland who is returning to Allison Ave to live for a second year commented on the barbecue.

“I think the main thing from our perspective was that living on Allison for the full year last year, we literally didn’t even know our neighbours when we saw them. We probably walked past one another countless times, without a notion as to who the other was. After the [barbecue] we have certainly crossed that basic threshold, recognizing who actually lives on the street, and feel as though we could stop them in the street and say hello, etc. It’s certainly an invaluable first step toward building better relations, and something which the rest of the town could undoubtedly benefit from!”

Last spring, thanks to the initiative of Sackville Town Councillor Shawn Mesheau, a group of concerned citizens started some informal meetings to discuss how we could better resolve some of the problems that have developed in some of our neighbourhoods due to late night parties and excessive noise. These meetings were greatly assisted by Michael Fox, who has been involved in town and university relations for a number of years and has served on a number of committees in Sackville, and Ian Smith, who is the vice-president of external affairs for the Mount Allison Students’ Union.  All of these individuals were very helpful in getting our first event started and they were all in attendance.

Many people in the town have expressed a positive interest in this initiative and anyone wishing to host a get to know your neighbours party is encouraged to do so.  If you’d like some assistance please contact any of us: Shawn Meshau, Michael Fox, Ian Smith, and Janet Crawford.

-Janet Crawford

– See more at: http://argosy.ca/article/letters-editorsept-19th-2013#sthash.eZ2UCodr.dpuf

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