|Subject: York University = Embarassing !
|I have a dream that I can one day proclaim that I´m a York student ... without embarrassment.
When I went home for Christmas break after first-year, I was quite jealous when my friends from McGill, UBC, Queen´s, even UofT, could find a no-brainer Christmas gift for their parents which resembled an item of clothing with "insert the name of a university better than York" Dad/Mom embroidered on the front. However, I wouldn´t in my right mind try to hand over a "York Dad" or "York Mom" shirt to my folks, at the risk of having it thrown back at my face. Then again, I wouldn´t want my folks to be ridiculed in their circle of friends, as I am in mine. Typical responses would be, "You go to York? Wow, you must have really flunked high school!", "York? Isn´t that the school plagued with scandals and protests?", "York? Isn´t that the school that plastered St. George Station with the interdisciplinary ads (if FACS 1900 wasn´t enough) last year?" and don´t forget the mythical shirts from UofT that read "Friends don´t let friends go to York."
Additionally making York very unattractive is its location beside the Jane and Finch corridor, an area notorious for its gun violence and high crime rate. People often advise me to hold my purse tight, don´t wander out at night and generally live in fear. Well, I do admit that I am afraid, but not in fear of getting shot, mugged or raped.
I´m afraid for the safety of my idealistic activist classmates and of the scams that rape my tuition money. Last year alone, York administration was under attack for a plethora of issues, including land scandals, questionable pay raises and abusing protesters, not to mention the sham that is York Parking. In my opinion, I´d rather be mugged by a petty thief than scammed by York Admin. At least a petty thief is in need of the money. I highly doubt that the York Administration needs another raise.
On the bright side, the sleazy guys in the downtown clubbing district inform me that the female student body here at York have an impeccable fashion sense. Stilettos, two pounds of makeup, Gucci, bling and Louis Vuitton purses are just some of the requirements of the York runway. Who needs trashy tabloids when living replicas of Paris Hilton are regularly strolling around our campus? Nevertheless, I can always be reminded nostalgically of my OSAP loan by the "Tiara Girl" (a term coined by a frustrated student, Jaspreet Sandhu), who complains in my tutorial about how her binder doesn´t match her $2,000 Louis Vuitton purse.
As a Torontonian, the general perception of York is that it´s the commuter school with little sense of community and a low cut off average, accepting all the leftovers who have been rejected from the more reputable universities. As the saying goes, "If you can hold a fork, you can go to York." Even though residence life is virtually non-existent, the perception of York as a school full of D-class students isn´t entirely true.
There are a couple of programs here that actually need more than a passing average and a cheque for tuition to gain admittance. Examples would be the highly competitive Schulich School of Business (notice how they have conveniently left York out of their name) and most of the by-audition-only programs in the Faculty of Fine Arts.
So when I graduate next year, what will I bring away from York along with my diploma? Parking ticket stubs, an empty wallet, maybe a couple of gunshot wounds and a renewed sense of pessimism.