On Campus

Student handbook censored for excessive crane jokes

View the content deemed too "inflammatory" for graduate students at UBC

The Graduate Student Society at the University of British Columbia has recalled 7,000 handbooks — worth $20,000 — for being too inflammatory, according to the Globe and Mail.

The Grad Student Society (GSS) called an emergency meeting last Wednesday about the handbooks. In an email a few hours later, UBC student Nate Crompton, who was hired to design the handbook, was requested to return all copies to the GSS. The email, from GSS president Mona Maghsoodi, said that some content had been found to be “inappropriate.”

Crompton told the Globe that he didn’t believe the handbook was inflammatory, calling it “satire.”

The book contains many references to cranes, an apparent jab at the university for its massive development that includes upscale condos. One joke reads, “UBC development is devoted to bringing you the most number of cranes per tuition dollar you spend. UBC promises that for every extra crane, one less letter will be written to the Province requesting adequate funding for the University.”

The book also questions why UBC is celebrating its centenary when classes weren’t taught at UBC until 1915.  “In the heady prelude to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the University cannot wait for its students because the ‘Centenary of 2015’ is too far away.”

Another piece that may have upset the GSS is that on the campus map the authors marked where UBC president Stephen Toope’s “$15 million house” is located.

Scott Macrae, UBC public affairs director, said that the university was not at all involved in the GSS’ decision.

Only 100 handbooks were handed out before the recall. In her email to Crompton, Maghsoodi requested, “Please make sure that the copies are kept confidential, otherwise the GSS may face critical consequences.”

Luckily, we’ve got a copy! Check out UBC’s alternative history by right clicking here and choosing save link as. (Warning large 10MB PDF file)

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