Campus Tour Assignment

Every year millions of students embark on the dynamic journey of post secondary education in hopes of getting a good education and valuable working skills that they can take with them when they step out into the practical world. Post secondary institutions are designed to provide the finest education in a healthy learning environment with good academic interests. However, living in an era of globalization and corporate rule our universities have no chance of surviving on its own. In recent years, there has been an upsurge of corporate affiliation with post secondary institutions, due to lack of government funding, which has produced the academic environment of universities into one that is geared more towards corporate interests (Clarke and Dopp). Universities are desperately seeking to affiliate themselves with wealthy corporations in multimillion dollar contracts and in doing so they fail to realize that they are violating the very principles for what they stand for. In a campus tour of York University, corporate involvement is quite prominent in every corner of the campus. Instead of promoting an academic environment, we are increasingly noticing a corporate takeover of the university campus. There are corporate values seen everywhere on campus - in the advertisements on the walls, bill boards, and washrooms, the large food corporations providing food on campus, corporate battles on campus, and much more deeply rooted ideas not easily noticeable. Our University was meant to be a learning space for students but is now turning into a more corporate battle field space. Vari Hall for example, has had a moment in history where students once misunderstood this space as a place for students and held a protest in the building but soon realized that this act was not allowed there. In 2005, police were called in to arrest

York students, a couple of whom were badly beaten at the hands of the police as well for protesting in a forbidden area. Students erupted in riots arguing (Student argued) that Vari Hall should be considered a place where students can have the right to voice their opinions (Behmard, Maryam. 2005). It is very unfortunate to see that Vari Hall was a building that was designed as a space for students ???? but now it is rather being used for corporations to advertise and sell their products. Slowly but surely these mega corporations are going to take over the entire campus, if they haven’t already. Social equity has suffered a major setback at the hands of privatization on campus.

York Lanes

York Lanes is an on campus mall that houses stores of big corporate companies (Telus, IBM, Apple, HP, etc), a convenience store, a pharmacy, doctor’s clinic, a bank, traveling services, the York University Bookstore and a wide variety of restaurants. These resources are available to students on campus for their convenience but it also serves a more corporate purpose. If the only places available to shop are big corporate stores on campus then one doesn’t have an option but to buy from there. Where else does one go;

what other options does one have? Prices are also so high that only the ones who can afford it can buy. “Who are excluded and who are included?” The unfortunate ones from low income families are unable to afford the prices. Thus only the elite have these resources available to them. Another interesting thing to note is that “…the more campuses act and look like malls, the more students behave like consumers.” (Klein, Naomi. 2000. No Logo: Taking Action at the Brand Bullies.) The York lanes mall takes advantage of students as consumers by creating an environment that looks like a mall that would lure students into buying things.

Student Centre & Other Food Services

Student Centre This space is named “The Student Centre” but it rather gives an impression of being in “The Corporate Centre” – committed to corporatization. PRESENCE OF With 4 or 5 major fast-food chains located here it has turned into a fast-food court. Question arises, Is this a place for students or for corporate businesses? It was probably meant to be a space for students but has turned into a centre committed to corporatization. If one

looks long and hard they might realize that there is a 2nd level that houses offices for student clubs which are in nature mostly ethnic/religious clubs that favour specific ethnicities/cultures and disfavours others. Can we consider our Student Centre a place that promotes social equity (HARMONEY)among its student population or is it too indulged in profiting from the private sector? Moreover, a student centre that provides no healthy choices and a cascade of junk food restaurants is not beneficial for students already starved for healthy choices. With a fast food giant breathing its corporate fumes on the campus, what choice do students have? If the only available food on campus is junk food where do you look to for healthy choices? Who can afford the food and who can’t? Again the elitist rule applies: only the privileged can afford it but then what happens to the underprivileged ORDINARY ? Where can they go to buy affordable food? What option do they have in such restrictive and limited choices. On Campus Food Services Catering giant – Sodexho-Marriot Services, a U.S. based corporation provides food in our campus cafeteria. Again another corporation selling food in our campus with hiked prices that are only favouring the elite and discriminating the underprivileged THE ORDINARy. Is this social equity on our campus? (It points to social unjust ) Can we call our campus one that promotes social equity if it favours the elite and discriminates the less fortunate in providing a (IT DEPRIVES ROUTINE EVERY DAY NECESSISTY)vital human necessity as food?

Vending Machines

These massive high priced vending machines are spread about in every nook and cranny of the campus. One doesn’t realize it until you think about it. If one opens their eyes around the campus - there are obvious signs of corporate take over everywhere. Either we just don’t see it or we simply ignore it. Why don’t students take a stand? Excessive corporate encroachment The university is a space for students and students have every right to voice their concerns and not be craze stop to speak out. Water Fountains vs. Aquafina Vending Machines One would be surprised to not that York university kindly hosts innumerable free water spouts for students. Unfortunately, these drinking fountains have been grossly overlooked for their maintenance and upgrading. I believe more robust consumer corporates readily grasped the opportunituy to take away users attention from rusty water fountains and installed glimmering, high tech, state of the art, coin operating vending machines. I wonder if the university ever asked users opinion before giving the companies a green signal to install their machines on campus and enjoy free electricity.

Tusty water fountains, leaking, overflowing, who would want to drink from that? Why doesn’t the campus fix this? Is this situation intentional? There might be a more intricate reason as to why these rusty water fountains are positioned right beside these vending machines. It is a smart idea to make the cheap water fountains appear so revolting that students would rather spend a few bucks and buy a clean bottle of water from the Aquafina vending machines. Pesi Cola vending machines The appearance OMNI PRESENCE of Pepsi vending machines everywhere on campus can suggest that Pepsi could likely be the “official soft drink” of York U (Klein, Naomi. 2000. No Logo: Taking Action at the Brand Bullies.). York University campus is becoming a Pepsi - Coke battleground. PEPSI INC seems to have won the race and knock Coke out of our campus. No coke is ever sold on campus and there is no sight of it anywhere. “In Toronto, [Pepsi Cola Company] gets to fill the 560 public schools with its vending machines, to block the sales of Coke and other competitors…” (Klein, Naomi. 2000. No Logo: Taking Action at the Brand Bullies.) There is a clear connection there, yet it makes you wonder where does all that money go? wonder

Based on the examples of corporate rule on campus, it seems quite plausible that the York University campus has been re-imaged as one that promotes SHOWS OF AND BRANDISH corporatization and commercialism rather than academic interests. The increased involvement of corporations in our campus environment suggests that our university is falling short of what it stands for. York University is an academic institution

that should have its grassroots in promoting education. However, if you walk JUST WALKING AROUND around on campus you will surely be forced to think that you are in a corporate FRINDLY AND COPRORATE PROMOTING ARENA trap. By GIVING A FREE ACCESS TO CORPORATE INTRUSION allowing corporate takeover of our campus we are not only walking away from the roots of our institution but also allowing our freedom of choice and speech to be usurped. By the accumulating corporate involvement in our university it APPEARS seems as if York University has turned its academic interests to corporate interests. Is York University an academic institution or a money-making monopoly? The values that York tries to embed in its students are being changed mixed adeltered violated by the university itself. What are we teaching our future generations correctly ? Is it the fact that only the elitist shall prosper and the poor shouldn’t? Environment can be tarnished just to get your corporate goals? If nothing is done in the immediate future to remedy the present situation on campus we are sure to defy the principles of social equity and environmental sustainability on campus.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful