The Tomato

The U of O’s Board of Governors has erected a giant wall in front of Tabaret Hall. Photo: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik
Reading Time: 2 minutes

New structure garners a strong reaction from students

The University of Ottawa’s Board of Governors (BOG) held its first meeting of the school year on Sept. 26, but with a slight twist.

For this meeting, the BOG erected a wall around Tabaret Hall to block students from view, including the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) executive, who were protesting increased tuition costs.

“Last year those pesky SFUO kids came to a bunch of our meetings trying to get us to make the school more environmentally friendly,” said Gobert Riroux, head of the BOG. “Like, don’t they have some fireworks to let off or something?”

Riroux said that this new structure was inspired by the wall that was erected in Ottawa to block protesters from the view of visiting Chinese officials.

“I know students are unhappy with tuition increases, I see it all the time,” said Riroux. “But I just want to enjoy the BOG meetings in peace—they have really good catering.”

When asked if the BOG would be adopting any other policies inspired by the Chinese government, Riroux looked pensive.

“Well, blocking the Internet on campus might not be a bad idea,” he said. “I know students just use it for watching Netflix and playing Flappy Crush on their phones.”

While the BOG used a temporary wall this time, Riroux said the plan is to construct a permanent structure in the not too distant future.

“I think people are missing out on the real positive here,” said Riroux. “It’ll mean more construction on campus.”

However, some students are not very thrilled with this new proposed construction project.

“I’m appalled,” said Sandra Roberts, president of the U of O environmental club. “If the university is going to make a wall to shut students out of decisions, that wall must be made of recyclable materials.”

“The wall is just awful,” said Thomas Adams a third-year engineering student. “They need to make it taller so my frisbee stops flying over it.”

When asked about what he thought about the wall’s erection, Richard Head, a first-year sociology student, replied: “Haha, erection.”

But as it turns out, not all students are displeased with the new structure.

In fact, members of the school’s rock climbing club have also taken a particular liking to the wall.

“Now we can stay on campus to climb,” said Brock Stone, president of the rock climbing club. “We won’t be able to climb as high as our tuition has climbed, but still.”

The SFUO has said they are taking this news in stride and planning a new protest.

“One thing’s for sure, protests are going to cost more.” said Crancesco Faruso, the SFUO’s vice president of services and communications. “Who knew buying a catapult would be so expensive?”

When asked where they would find the funding to pay for the new project, Riroux was eager to explain.

“We’ll make Carleton pay for the wall!” he said. “We actually took that idea from Donald Trump, so what could go wrong?”