A month ago, I filed my second Request for Review with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia regarding the University of the Fraser Valley. I am trying to learn about the RCMP University Research Chair and the UFV Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research. These efforts have been made pursuant to Sections 4 and 52 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
Pretty much everything you need to know about this situation is described in Section 8(g) of my complaint:
“I believe the University is in possession of documents described above, but they simply do not want to give them to me. The records in question provide a legal framework for significant funding and sponsorship agreements between the University and various public and private partners. If the documents were truly missing, their absence would undermine the integrity and credibility of most of the criminal justice research conducted by the University during the past seven years.”
Apparently Felicitas’s Pub is going to be renamed by the University of Victoria Students’ Society. They are holding a contest with a $500 prize. The final vote is tomorrow night (November 29) at the pub.
This contest is a mistake. As a general rule, monuments, landmarks and buildings should not be renamed, absent a compelling reason. (No, corporate rebranding is not a compelling reason.)
Page 25 of the Autumn 2012 issue of Torch Magazine lists fifty unique things about UVic. Here is number 24:
“Felicita’s Campus Pub in the Student Union Building is named after beloved janitor Felicita Gomez who used to work in the SUB.”
This renaming contest is disrespectful to Mrs. Gomez. It is disrespectful to thousands of alumni, many of whom remember great times at Felicita’s. And it is disrespectful to working-class people, who almost never get anything named after them. Ditto for women, of course. Most buildings are named after men.
I hope the UVSS leadership reconsiders. I hope they think about history. Visit the Save Felicita’s Facebook page if you agree. If you are a student, you can also vote on Thursday evening at the pub.
Many municipalities, police departments and school boards in British Columbia struggle with their budgets each year. Perhaps they should consider following the lead of Munich, Germany:
Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city’s own Linux platform. The calculation of savings follows a question by the city council’s independent Free Voters (Freie Wähler) group, which led to Munich’s municipal LiMux project presenting a comparative budget calculation at the meeting of the city council’s IT committee on Wednesday. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million.
Linux is open source, secure, flexible and free. Yet the only local government on southern Vancouver Island using Linux – that I know of – is School District 63.