Volume 94, Issue 76

Wednesday, February 7, 2001


USC prez suitors enter the clubhouse

UBC engineers under fire for prank

Frosh issues come up at Elgin forum

Deadly virus could hit London, health officer warns

Greenall says he's not so green

Tribal council gives their two cents

Prez candidates invade cyber-space

Planet Me

UBC engineers under fire for prank

By Daniel Mlodecki
Gazette Staff

Top officials within the University of British Columbia's school of engineering are considering sanctions against several of their own students, after they suspended a Volkswagen Beetle from one of San Francisco's most famous landmarks – the Golden Gate Bridge.

While the bridge itself was not damaged during the weekend stunt, UBC's dean of applied science, Michael Isaacson, said he was concerned the prank may have harmed the university's reputation. "[The prank] does damage to UBC. Public safety is at risk, and people make the association," he said.

Hugh Turner, social co-ordinator for the UBC Engineering Undergraduate Society, said while the individuals involved were engineering students at UBC, they were not acting on behalf of the EUS, and the Society does not take responsibility for the prank.

Despite the EUS' declaration of non-involvement, Isaacson said sanctions may be taken against both the EUS and individual students claiming responsibility for the prank.

"There are some key individuals who may be involved. We are going to investigate the matter," he said.

Carl Hausner, petty officer with the San Francisco Coast Guard, said the sight of a car body hanging from the bridge was a first for him. "[I've] never seen anything like this before," he said, adding while there was apparently no damage to the bridge, the dangling car presented potential safety problems for shipping traffic passing underneath.

Hausner said the coast guard diverted ships around the area underneath the hanging car on Monday while workers with the Golden Gate Bridge Authority cut the supporting cable and allowed the car to sink to the bottom of the bay.

Julia Steele, president of the UBC's EUS, said the prank may serve as positive advertising for engineering studies, but unfortunately forced delays for bridge commuters and extra work for the Coast Guard. "[It's] good for engineering awareness, but bad for the people who were inconvenienced," she said.

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