City In­former

Vancouver Magazine - - News - by Stacey McLach­lan IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY By­ron Eggen­schwiler Got aque­s­tion forCi­tyIn­former? stacey.mclach­

Are there ac­tu­ally se­cret tun­nels un­derneath UBC?

ˆ ‰Š‹ŒŽ ‘’Ž ŒŽ“ˆ‹ for spark­ing the un­der­ground-tun­nel craze. Those Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles maderomp­ing around in the sew­ers look so sexy and fun, and now there’s an epi­demic of UBC stu­dents try­ing to ˜nd the cam­pus’s leg­endary se­cret net­work of pas­sage­ways. It’s an elab­o­rate way to get your kicks: call me old­fash­ioned, but when I was in univer­sity, recre­ation­ally abus­ing Ad­der­all was all the ex­cite­ment most un­der­grads needed.

These tun­nels are more than just ale­gend: un­like my col­lege in­ter­net boyfriend, they ac­tu­ally ex­ist. Steam­tun­nels— util­ity pas­sages that trans­fer steam be­tween build­ings—cre­ate an un­der­ground route on cam­pus, which the bravest, stu­pid­est schol­ars can ac­cess through man holes if they’ve planned ahead and spent their stu­dent loan on acrow­bar.

To be clear: en­ter­ing

Un­like my col­lege in­ter­net boyfriend, these tun­nels ac­tu­ally ex­ist.

these tun­nels is de˜nitely not a good idea (un­less you’re ma­jor­ing in the Get­ting Ar­rested Arts), but stu­dents at least as far back as the ’60s have been do­ing it any­way, get­ting their kicks by sneak­ing around, gra¡ti-ing, eat­ing pizza and ˜ght­ing Shred­der. (I am also a vic­tim of the TMNT­paradigm.)

It doesn’t make sense to me that this is an ac­tiv­ity UBC stu­dents, of all peo­ple, have turned to for fun. When I was at SFU, the pub served jugs of “Winch­ester,” which was ru­moured to be left­overs of all the other beers mixed to­gether, and our mas­cot was a dog who is also a weath­er­man. So if any­one should be des­per­ate enough to spend Fri­day nights in a claus­tro­pho­bic tube lined with hot metal pipes, it should be my fel­low alumni, not UBC kids who live in the lap of lux­ury with their Ko­erner’s kim­chi tacos.

These are ac­tu­ally not the only tun­nels at UBC— there’s also an un­der­ground cor­ri­dor be­tween the Life Sciences Cen­tre and the Wood­wardLi­brary, used for trans­port­ing med­i­cal ma­te­ri­als (sci­ence talk for “loose or­gans”) that could be con­tam­i­nated by the great out­doors or knocked com­i­cally out of a sci­en­tist’s hands by a stray hacky sack as she crosses the Quad. Those who use these tun­nels aren’t look­ing for fame or glory or tur­tle power—they’re just try­ing to do their jobs. Half shell or no half shell, these brave fac­ulty mem­bers are he­roes.

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