Point/Counterpoint: What’s worse, Tory or Humanities?

Richard Bagan

Point: Tory is hell on campus

The desks in Tory weren’t meant to be written on. Pity to the struggling first years who have to write tests on these desks while balancing a formula sheet, scantron, and test booklet. All too narrow deskspace makes laptops teeter and topple far too constantly. Everyday is a wildcard when the class before you can take all the seats and throw them in a pile at the back of the room.

At least the true lecture halls in Tory have their chairs and desks nailed to the ground. Ironically, though, nobody wants to sit in those mutant chair-desks over the unstable, teetering desks. Armrests are absent from chair to chair, leaving no buffer zone between you and the person sitting beside you. What’s more, the desks here can’t be stowed, meaning any attempt to leave them is an acrobatic feat in and of itself.

Ever been to Tory Lecture around lunch time? At 11:50 a.m. sharp, students desperate to escape the confines of the lecture hall and get a taste of cheap lunch in HUB collide with students desperate to get into their lecture hall for the next hour. The result? Ten to fifteen minutes of deadlock, with a couple students getting in, a couple students getting out. This problem is somehow not solved by the multiple exits out of Tory Lecture.

Combine desks from a 1900’s frontier school and daily luncheon traffic jams with a building that is as far as physically possible from the bus loop without being on the North side, and you’ve got Tory: UAlberta’s mistake.

Harmon Tamura


Counterpoint: Humanities is the true prison

Tory may be a dingy prison of a building, but Humanities is worse: it’s a dingy prison desperately trying to pretend it isn’t. A few stained glass ceiling panels and some plants here and there don’t make up for the fact that it’s held together by mouse droppings and the oozing pretentiousness of English students.

Despite actually having some windows, Humanities still manages to have a dark and cramped atmosphere. The hideous combination of brick and lumpy cement walls creates an effect that is both timeless and somehow still dated. Getting around Humanities is also a hassle: the upper floor hallways are ridiculously narrow, and trying to find a lecture hall is an odyssey.

And then there’s the matter of the classrooms. Tory at least manages to be mostly the same kind of shitty across the board, but with Humanities, you never know what kind of learning conditions you’re going to be saddled with. You could get a dimly-lit classroom in which the projector doesn’t work half the time. Or you could get one with 20 extra desks crammed in that are in different positions every day, forcing you to constantly adjust them. You could have plenty of writing space but not enough chairs, or more than enough chairs but those same nightmarish chair-desk monstrosities you find in Tory.

Like an essay written the night before it’s due, Humanities is a mishmash of weird ideas that fails to come together. The result is a failing grade.

Christine McManus

Christine McManus

Christine McManus was the Managing Editor for 2019-2020 at The Gateway. When she's not writing articles or at choir rehearsal, she enjoys spending quality time with her cat, Scotty.

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