Fun Star: University to build high rise on West Ridge

This issue is a work of satire, and is not intended to be taken seriously in any way. Any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental, and quotes should not be regarded with any degree of seriousness.

A totally original concept illustration of the West Ridge Skyscraper. The building will stand at 2,717ft. Materials for the building will cost the university the equivalent of 12 yearly budgets. Engineering departments are trying to recruit their students to help construct the building by offering extra credit and nothing else.

Complaints have been coming in from various students in science majors that upper campus isn’t, as many of them have dubbed, “fancy” enough.

“Physics is hard,” said Shman Shmadsen, “How can you expect me to deal with the stresses of school without a proper adjustable lounge chair with multiple massage settings?”

Such pressing demands run in conflict with UAF’s yearly budget cuts which have resulted in significant changes in budgetary allocation and in the reduction of programs and faculty staffing. During a press meeting on April 1, UA President Jim Johnsen stated that the majority of the University’s budget was going into what he called “priority areas.”

One of the apparent priorities was in the construction of a “West Ridge Skyscraper.” The skyscraper will act as a multipurpose facility that will house all of the different scientific disciplines available at UAF and will include other necessary features such an indoor shopping mall, resort and spa, and a variety of 5-star restaurants.

In response to the criticism expressed by faculty and students in CLA departments, Johnsen reasoned that science research grants from out of state will save the university a large sum of money in the long run. He stressed that the university will have to focus its budget on promoting science specific majors.

“The right way to save money is to spend money until you start saving,” said Johnsen.

The criticism by UAF’s College of Liberal Arts came as a result of the noticeable effects that its budget cuts have had on the students and faculty. One of the primary examples of this was that central power was completely cut off to the Fine Arts Complex. Departments located in the building had little time to prepare for the change and resorted to following through with their original schedules and lectures. The Theatre and Film department’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was re-billed as “a unique auditory re-telling of the classic tale.”

Furthermore, the long standing Gruening building is planned to be demolished so that its steel could be repurposed for the construction of an elevated bridge that connects the Engineering Building to the West Ridge Skyscraper.

“Do you really expect my students to associate with ‘lower campies?’ These are serious people doing serious work, you can’t have them mingling with these sorts,” said Petroleum Engineering Professor Patricia Ollie.

It was revealed during the press meeting that, while the building was primarily built for science departments, Johnsen declared, “Engineering gets a pass; they’re cool.”

The University of Alaska Board of Regents, predicting that this change in budget allotment would spark a negative reaction from CLA, set aside funds to compensate for the change: a $20 Arby’s gift card shared among all CLA departments.

“We don’t even have an Arby’s in town,” said psychology student Wyatt Yurkovich.

The West Ridge Skyscraper was initially scheduled to finish construction sometime in the year 2030, but construction has been delayed due to state budget issues. The newly projected opening is scheduled for 2040.

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