“The UBC Board of Governors has directed UBC administration to develop academic plans for a 24-hectare parcel of South Campus land for teaching and research purposes that are “academically rigourous and globally significant” around issues of sustainability” (UBC Media Release, Dec. 1, 2008).
What does this mean for UBC Farm? You can have a hand in determining the answer to that question. UBC farm is that 24 hectare parcel and its future is now being determined through the drafting of this academic plan.
For the public:
Write to Premier Gordon Campbell. As UBC Farm is in the Premier Gordon Campbell’s riding, it is important that we let him know how important the issue is to his constituents, especially with the Provincial election so close. Please write a letter to him asking him to support preserving the 24 hectare UBC Farm. The Province’s support of the UBC Farm will be a vital factor in influencing UBC’s Board of Governors to preserve the entire 24 hectare UBC Farm. For some helpful tips for letter writing, including where to send your letter, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For UBC students, staff and faculty:
Now is the time to influence how this academic plan is shaped, and thus help UBC preserve and support the entire 24-hectare UBC Farm. The committee in charge of drafting the plan is being chaired by the Provost/VP Academic David Farrar.
If you are not already aware, please find out whether your faculty is involved in the farm and how it is involved (If you’d like to know how your faculty is involved, contact us at email@example.com). Then, arrange a meeting with or write a letter to your Dean, Department head, and David Farrar asking them to support AND EXPAND your faculty’s involvement at the farm. Tell them your ideas for how you would like to see your faculty’s involvement expanded.
If your faculty is not yet involved at the UBC Farm, but you see opportunities for how it could be, please arrange a meeting with or write a letter to your Dean and department heads asking them to initiate this relationship. Tell them your ideas for how this relationship could work and tell them to contact the farm at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on starting the process. Another thing you can do is hold a meeting with students and faculty in your department about what they would like to do at the farm and incorporate that into your letters or a presentation to your Dean and department head.
Ideally, we would like one person or a group of people be a Contact to Friends of the Farm in each faculty. Your role would be to make it easy for people to write letters. Tell people you’ll collect them and make sure they get to the correct addresses. One student took this on in the faculty of Forestry and collected 40 letters to present to their Dean in a week! The Education Faculty ended up writing a manifesto the Board of Governors in support of the environmental education at the farm! (NB: Please make sure the keep copies of these materials and send them along to us (e-mail below) so we can help to make sure that they are reflected in the final plan.) If you are interested in being a contact for your faculty please contact us at email@example.com.
Please write to or meet with these people even if you don’t have time to find out how your faculty is involved. If you’re concerned about the Farm, that’s the most important thing! Don’t be shy about talking to these people. They are hired to serve you: your money pays their salaries. Deans and the Provost need to see the broad interest in the farm through these meetings and letters in support of the Farm in order for us all to be successful in our efforts to save it.
The UBC Farm is a special and unique resource. If we want to ensure its survival and flourishing for future generations, we need your help! The next six months will be critical for shaping the academic planning process.