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The townie theory of social engagement, or lack thereof.

Posted By Ainge Lotusland On November 25, 2007 @ 4:23 pm In Editorial | Comments Disabled

ACF is one of the only UBC events I attend. I’m lazy and antisocial, so I don’t prioritize things like beer gardens and storm the wall and pit night and whatever else. When I do socialize on campus, I’m getting drunk with a few friends at Koerner’s or the Gallery.

I really have trouble believing that the u-pass and bad financial aid policies are the reason people don’t party on campus. Personally, I blame townies such as myself, who can go home after school to unwind. When you know the city real well, there’s less reliance on the campus scene as far as finding fun goes.

There’s the simple matter of competition – I’d like to state for the record that I think rational choice theory is overrated, overused, and oppressive as it obfuscates the role of systemic discrimination and power in things. As we are discussing something as minor as ‘where Ainge gets sloshed and why’, I’m going to apply it, as this is its place. If anyone wants to chime in with some critical theoretical analysis of my drinking habits, please, feel free. I’d also like to state that this is purely anecdotal, as is most of the stuff you’ll read on the internets.

I drink where I drink because I appreciate a good beer on tap, and a nice booth or patio. Standing around Buchanan D holding a dixie cup with a bunch of strangers I may have seen in class or on the bus just ain’t my thing. I make a little money, and I want to maximize the enjoyment. See, it’s simple.

Being a townie has definitely influenced my indifference towards campus events. Spending twenty years in this hamlet means I get that sense of community elsewhere. I coach debate at my old high school, I involve myself in local politics, I hang with my ridiculous Italian family, and I stay in touch with people I’ve known for ages.

My experience is not universal – some townies do throw themselves into campus life. The thing is, UBC events compete with everything else the city has to offer, and the sentimental ties that should be keeping us on campus to party just aren’t there. We don’t mythologize our college experience that much here in Canada. It’s seen less as a life-changing experience and more as gettin that there diploma thing whut helps ya get a job . When I was applying for university, 80% of my grad class ended up staying in Vancouver. By virtue of its lower mainland location, UBC complements my life as it already is. I’m here for the courses.

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