As anyone who’s spent time at UFV knows, the school is filled with eye-catching architecture, pieces of art, and landmarks. But not everyone knows the deep history behind some of these fixtures, and others are simply overlooked by students rushing from class to class without time to take in their surroundings. To remedy that, The Cascade sent out a field reporter to the Abbotsford campus, in an effort to catalogue these hidden (and not-so-hidden) campus treasures.
We start our journey with a UFV fixture that really should need no introduction. How many times have you overheard students walking out of class, saying to their friends, “Yo, meet me at bucket corner in 10,” or seen passers-by stop to take in the majesty of this understated piece of campus art? Bucket corner has been a staple of new student orientation tours since its installation nearly two decades ago.
The POSC Emergency Bunker (under construction):
Inspired by the replica World War I trench on the green, UFV’s political science department decided to create a campus fixture of their own, but opted for a more practical space. All too aware of the escalating global tensions, and with the constant threat of nuclear war lingering in the back of their minds, they began construction on a fully-featured fallout shelter November 9, 2016.
This unique classroom in D building has one particularly unusual feature. If you didn’t notice, the chairs are not on the floor — they’re on the table! And no, this isn’t the result of an exceptionally high-stakes game of “the floor is lava,” rather it’s an intentional choice for one of the classes hosted in this room: CLMB 135: Urban Climbing in Canada. Students are required to climb up to their seats, to practice their skills, and to see what it’s like to learn at slightly higher than usual altitudes.
Editor’s note: our field reporter was asked to also take a photo of the classroom for CLMB 212: Advanced Scaling, but he was unable to properly use pitons and could not reach it.
A Cautionary Tale:
To highlight excess waste at UFV, the university commissioned this thought-provoking piece of art. The non-functioning garbage can is intended to make students stop and think before they throw out items that could be recycled or composted. The visually blaring orange pylon and yellow CAUTION tape draw a lot of raised eyebrows, and those who ignore the environmental warning and try to discard their waste in the can are met only with a pair of glowing yellow eyes, haunted by disappointment at the wastefulness, staring back at them from the darkness within.
In the parking lot next to Baker House, you’ll see one of UFV’s most enduring mysteries: a large, green, metal box, claiming it’s for an emergency. Nobody knows what it contains, or what kind of emergency it’s preparing for. Is it food and water to keep us alive after an earthquake? A squad of firefighters, hoses at the ready if a Baker House party gets a bit too crazy? Stacks of money in case the university goes bankrupt? Many have guessed, but nobody really knows. And now, with a mysterious wheeled box added in front, concealed under a blue cover, we have to ask: what are they trying to hide?
See that little speck in the distance, walking across the parking lot? Our field reporter claims that he’s sure it’s soon-to-be-retired UFV president Mark Evered, briefcase in hand, making his way to some important meeting or event. However, our field reporter did not sprint across the parking lot to get closeups, proving that he has no future in the paparazzi.
One of UFV’s most famous features is Street Sweepings, an art installation that grows and shifts throughout the year. With straw imported from the finest artisanal fields of Saskatchewan, the pile of natural debris represents the education UFV students come for: while they may arrive with specific intentions, more and more ideas and thoughts are piled on them, decomposing into one homogenous pile of knowledge. Yet they keep returning, time and time again, and more leaves and twigs and straw is piled on top, building layers to their knowledge until one day, their task complete, they vanish once again into the wide world, leaving no mark but their memory behind, but taking with them a lifetime’s supply of mental street sweepings.
Wait, there’s another bucket?
Okay, that’s weird, our field reporter found a second bucket, just like the one at Bucket Corner. So that’s why people sometimes don’t show up when I ask if they want to hang out at Bucket Corner, they must be going to the wrong one! Anyway, I think this is just a bucket for plants or something, it has no significance.