While the strike charges on, we may as well wonder… how can we get 25 million clams to the Faculty Administration, then get back to school? Here are a few thoughts:
1. Though many have a experienced a dirge in this season’s coffee shop reaping, perhaps this will work. If you win a few bucks, or anything at all, from your Tim Horton’s coffee cup rim, offer it as payment to the Profs! Who wouldn’t exchange a lesson or two for a five-thousand dollar pre-paid Visa, a few Toyotas, a big screen TV, or literally MILLIONS of instant food and beverage prizes? Just look for the profs holding signs that read, “Will teach for coffee!” and you’ve got your class back on schedule. There’s your purchasing power working for you.
2. Ok let’s get controversial for a moment. Let’s sell UNBC to the highest bidder! This bidder will likely be Enbridge though. They’re looking for a way to win over the town. Why not buy its ivory tower? We might get back into class, but not for long.
The Lheidli T’enneh ceded the land the University is on, so rest assured we would be trading picket signs for protest signs in a very short period of time. Let’s scratch that one, and any ideas of selling off any UNBC land to top up the coffers. Governments keep doing that and they’re running out of space now. We could build up to get some skyscrapers, then sell off the office space. I guess we tried to do that downtown with the wood innovation centre… Hmmm, that leads me to the next option.
3. Build a more innovative Wood Innovation Centre. This time though we’ll get really innovative. I mean... like... really innovative. Ideas?
4. Let’s go corporate! That’s right, we’ll trade publicly on the market. Buy, buy, buy! Sell, sell, sell! The advantages of being a corporation lay in its utter size and fear tactics. No one messes with a corporation because it’s too big to sue, and if in time we grow enough, then we're too big to fail. UNBC will get all the bailouts it needs, debt free. UNBC wouldn’t pay taxes because the government needs this money-making, job-creating, wonder machine to perform at peak efficiency. In no time at all we’ll become more valuable than the Canada’s fallible resource-based currency because at UNBC we produce more... education than anyone! Right? Well, the last couple weeks are an exception but we’ll turn that around in the next quarter. Come on! You’ve gotta’ believe me! Just buy a few grand in shares! They’re penny stocks! You can’t lose… gulp.
5. Another aspect of finance, which isn’t exactly the act of selling property to someone, but sort of like temporarily selling it to one evil entity, would be to re-mortgage UNBC’s assets. So instead of selling to some nasty company, we can take a whole bunch of money from an evil bank instead. We just have to promise to give the money back at some point, which means UNBC will have to find a way to make enough money to pay it back with interest. This will probably mean tuition hikes, corporate sponsorship (with all it’s nasty trappings), slashed services, crappier food, prof lay-offs, strikes, wait a minute…
6. Leave it to chance. Just get some lottery tickets and donate the earnings to the FA. Use the dough normally spent on ethical produce at the Farmer’s Market, Stackers deli, and Degrees coffee to buy as many scratch and wins as you can. We only need to get about 300 Set For Life winning tickets, and we’ll have well paid staff for 25 years, or we can let them spend it all in one ridiculous lump sum. Maybe they’ll put a bowling alley and a curling rink complete with beer taps in the sport centre after raking all that sweet BCLC dough in. Talk about a greeeeeeen university! Maybe before we fork the cash over, we should take it over to Treasure Cove and put it ALL ON BLACK. YEEEHAW! Okay next idea.
7. Have a fundraiser at Riley’s Pub. Make that many fundraisers. They’re always a good time, and why not have more of them? Let’s say we make $500.00 per fundraiser, with a final goal of $25, 000, 000. That’s only 50, 000 fundraisers if we decide to party ourselves out of this situation. We better get crackin’.
8. Go Hollywood! Two moderately successful films were shot here in Prince George. Strange Brew solidified Bob & Doug McKenzie’s celebrity status worldwide (cough), while Reindeer Games launched (ahem) Ben Afleck and Charlize Theron’s careers. As long as too may people don’t download the film before it hits the theatre, and we don’t start a grudge match with North Korea we could really rake in on a Made-In-Canada feature. Who knows what lurks beneath this bowl-like geographical anomally. For thousands of years, we assumed a glacier created it, but this summer the town confronts a different type of earth mover… Jeez, this is starting to sound like Tremors. Good thing there’s an entire English and Drama department to give this thing some teeth with their new-found free time.
9. Get a little sleazier. Screw it, if the sequel to Strange Brew doesn’t work. Just make a porno á la Zack and Miri. I think that’s pretty straightforward. Enough said.
10. Donation campaign. Back in 1988, some people had the swell idea of petitioning around the area to drum up support for a university. The petition was signed by ~16,000 people who had paid $5 for the privilege of doing so. Wowee huh? It may be difficult to get 5,000,000 individuals to donate $5.00 each to the FA, but anything is possible.
11. Truly anything is possible with the internet. Such a campaign could be launched on Kickstarter, Indiegogo or some such site. Why not?
12. This lack of money raises the question of what exactly money is. Put simply, it’s just a rectangle with a pretentious person’s face printed beside a number. I wish I’d thought of that one first, but I didn’t and neither did you. Right now, the EU doesn’t want to make any cuts, so it’s starting a program of quantitative easing. In many respects, this centrally involves printing money. Let’s get the Royal Canadian Mint to do the same for UNBC. The government will probably do it in a few years anyway, so if we have to cart a wheelbarrow full of cash to the Farmer’s Market to get a loaf of bread now as opposed to later, screw it, let’s do it. On the other hand, Ukraine has avoided printing money by becoming eligible for IMF loans. We just have to make the case that Putin is really bullying us and the IMF should come bail us out. In both situations though, UNBC would have to pay back debt, with interest, to someone very shady…
13. Perhaps Mickey Mouse would be a less shady business partner, and we can become a branch of Disneyworld and Disneyland. I found a badge on the ground the other day that said “My 1st Visit to Disneyland!” That proves that most of the groundwork is already done. People from the US have never seen a forest as huge or as enchanted as Forests For The World. We just need to install some robotic kids singing, “It’s a worldly forest after all.” again, and again, and again. The 25 million bones will roll into town during the opening week. After that we’ll dismantle the robots and set them up at the wood innovation centre where they’ll educate passersby how innovative the building is.
Have a few ideas of your own? Forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org! Or post your ideas to us on twitter (@CFURradio) with the hashtag #StrikeSolutions for the world to see. Come on Ed, I know you’ve got a few ;)