When you really break it down, every problem at this school can be solved with money. Tuition deregulation, professor shortages, insufficient student housing; all could be solved if this school had a big enough bank account. So the question now becomes, 'how do we acquire obscene amounts of money for the University without doing anything illegal?'
The President and his team of Deans are very smart people, and they know they have to go about getting money in any way that they can. They know it is not a simple as President Johnston calling up the Premier and saying "Yo, Ernie, we need some more 'Bling'". To their credit, the administrators are doing the best they can trying to keep quality high, tuition low, and corporations from being the primary source of funding, but these seem to all be competing goals. There is, however, another source of funding that could solve all of our money problems without having to increase tuition, reduce quality, or let corporations be our sugar daddies; which is, of course, dead Alumni.
No matter what your President or Dean do, they cannot change the simple fact this school was only established in 1957. Schools like Queen's, U(T), and McGill have been around for over a hundred years and have always been pretty big schools that graduate lots of successful — and now dead — people. The cool thing about successful people who also are in the 'dead' subset is that they like to leave lots of money to their school in their wills, and if your school has been around for a long time, they tend to have lots of these successful dead Alumni. Waterloo on the other hand had its first class gradute around 1961, thus your average initial grad is only in their sixties. It could be another 20 years before our alums start kicking the bucket and giving the fruit of their life's work to our school.
This is where the administration of our school should really begin to think if they really want to 'diversify' our school's income as badly as they say they do. Really, the school should take a more pro-active role in this. Not that we should form a militant wing of the Alumni Affairs Office or anything, but perhaps we should encourage certain grads to do certain things in lieu of their annual donation, such as moving to warring nations with no government, or pretty much anything from that show Jackass. Even something so simple as to send out commemorative lethal weapons to all our alums at Christmas time. There are a lot of things that could set the ball rolling in the right direction, from putting more high calorie meals in Ron Coutts diet to sending Mike Lazaridis a birthday gift that has a countdown timer attached.
I'm not good with ethics, I'm in CS and all, but I'm pretty sure we can't just have grads 'whacked' Sopranos-style, but we can definitely do some encouraging. For the good of the University, we should be prepared to do almost anything. "I'm going to stab this air, and if any part of you fills that air, it's your own fault". [Isn't your dad alumni? — Ed.]
Some of you may not like the idea of pushing alumni over the edge for our own financial gain, but ask yourself, would you'd rather stomach that, or 15% tuition increases for the next several years?
Ian W. MacKinnon