April 29, 2014
My past four years at McGill have been challenging, exasperating, frustrating, and rewarding. I want to thank all of you who have provided me with material over the years, either knowingly or unknowingly. Your support has given me hope that one day this school will find a comedic voice, and has encouraged me to exercise my own.
Unfortunately, my time at this university is coming to an end. So I am leaving you with these parting thoughts in the hopes that they may provide both amusement and guidance upon my departure.
To all those who endeavor to parody McGillian life, I encourage you to study in great detail the Twitter account @LotsWifeMcGill. To know the brilliance, subtlety, and hilarity of this former McGill Daily editor may just provide a cure to this school’s aversion to humor.
There is unparalleled wit in good natured observation, and it need not come at the malicious expense of groups or individuals.
Un message pour les étudiant(e)s francophones: Vous êtes plus nombreux que vous pensez. Je vous encourage d’exiger les services en français que vous méritez. L’AÉMU et les autres associations étudiantes vont continuer à vous ignorer à moins que vous exprimiez votre opposition. Bien que McGill ne soit pas une université bilingue, elle a une obligation d’assurer que tous ces étudiant(e)s sont représentés. Dans la même veine, cette université est une île anglophone isolée par choix dans une ville francophone. Avec votre aide, les étudiants anglophones peuvent vraiment découvrir tous que cette ville, cette province, et leurs habitants, ont à offrir.
To the incoming SSMU Executive: You are coming into office on the heels of the least competent SSMU Executive in recent memory. While the bar may be set extremely low, take care not to trip over it. To hold an additional referendum on an issue that has been decided by a clear and well-informed majority would be insulting to those of us who understood the extent of the previous Executive’s failure to negotiate a favorable lease and decided to hold them accountable for it. I urge you to call McGill’s bluff, terminate the lease, and return to the drawing board to rectify what is truly the worst decision the Society has made in the past four years. Barring such a verdict, I would counsel you to avoid misleading students in order to paper over the mistakes of the forerunning Executive. Attempts to frame ratification of the lease as a means to save Gert’s and to continue providing space to other valuable student services would be laughably transparent and wholly disingenuous. Should you choose to continue with this flawed agreement, the projected deficit that it generates could be covered through the abdication of your respective salaries, the termination of the Library Improvement Fund (a responsibility that is McGill’s alone), and the reinvestment of SSMU’s portfolio. Do not perpetuate the failures of your predecessors, and I truly wish you the best of luck in the coming academic year.
To perspective students: Your decision to attend one of the world’s elite universities is not one to be taken lightly. While this school will provide you with a phenomenal education, it is loath to give you any of the tools that might enable your success. To succeed at McGill requires a significant degree of self-motivation. If you are willing to take the initiative to persevere with little outside guidance, then you will go far here. And while you will learn a great deal on campus, I urge you to engage yourself as much as possible in the city of Montreal. Despite its central location, there is very little interaction between McGill’s student body and the greater Montreal community. I would also advise you to eschew living close to campus, as the added inconvenience will certainly enrich your experience at one of Canada’s premier institutions of higher learning, and give you a chance to explore one of North America’s cultural capitals.
To those of you not yet graduating: Accept no bullshit. Under no circumstances should you vote to fund the disastrous lease negotiated by the SSMU. Nor should you allow the university to unilaterally curb access to the most frequented library on campus. McGill is predictably frustrating, but I urge you to counter this trend by imbuing our soon to be alma mater with some much needed common sense.
And finally, to my fellow graduates: Let the healing begin.
My friends, McGill is a school full of bright and gifted people, and I urge each of you to explore and cultivate your own talents through laughter, study, and engagement. Humor is better than senseless one-upmanship. Blues Pub is better than Bar des Arts. Blackader is better than McLennan. So let us be humorous, tipsy, and studious, and we’ll change McGill.
All my very best,