If only for the sake of legacy

In 1969, Neil Armstrong left a footprint on the surface of the moon to mark his visit well into the future. A symbol, that has forever left its mark on humanity's view of space exploration. And rightly so, as the quest for perpetuity is a normal human drive, these astronauts meant to embody their achievements as something more tangible.

But a problem rears its head when this urge to leave one’s mark, is perpetuated year after year in less significant areas; as is the case with many of our campus services. With managerial tenures being a scant year in length, service directors scramble to solve all the ills of their respective services, real or imagined during the summer months. With assurances that, "this will be the best year ever," these directors move on new initiatives so that one day they will be able to come back to Queen's and say, "I did that." Admittedly heady stuff if the trail of your life reaches its pinnacle with a year spent managing the Used Bookstore.

This summer Alfie's went through its latest renovation (I believe this makes it three years in a row), the aim of which is decidedly unclear. The addition of a coat check was a good idea, as was the increase of bar space, but these new services are most useful when the bar is busy, making one wonder just what this was meant to achieve. Making expenditures on new additions to a money-losing service that will only be utilized by people who would have gone to the pub anyway, can not be the best use of student funds.

Mind you, it will be quite a sight, when years from now, past Alfie's managers return to the pub and puff up with pride at the sight of patrons hanging up their jackets. If that's not worth a few thousand dollars in student fees, I don't know what is.

Another current example of this trend is seen in the renovations of the JDUC's Skylight Lounge. Each incoming AMS regime has needed to determine a mandate (read gimmick) for its year in office. This year's executive will create their legacy by making major changes to an area of the JDUC that saw large-scale remodeling only three years ago.

These types of 'changes for the sake of changes' are not reserved for Queen's student government alone. We'll never know whether some Sodexho Marriott employee sees the changes to the Sidewalk Café as his piece of perpetuity. I sincerely hope someone will look back with pride at the long lines of students waiting for their morning coffee. Certainly, if history's inventors had denied their drive for legacy, there would be no cotton gin or string cheese, but there comes a time when a person must abide by the adage, "if it ain't broke don't fix it."

These changes may very well be the greatest thing since sliced bread, and if they are I'll be the first to swallow my pride and admit it. But in the future I hope a few will realize that carving your initials in the wall is as much immortality as anyone needs.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.