What the hell is that purple thing?
By Dan Perry
PURPLE PEOPLE EATER. Western students beware: the new construction
on the Concrete Beach will consume you with its hideousness.
Even the demise of Wet/Dry couldn’t stop the addition
to Concrete Beach of what underagers prayed could be only one
thing: Barney the Dinosaur’s beer tent for young’uns.
Students who cut out early for the long weekend were greeted
with a surprise when classes resumed on Tuesday. It was not
(as had been rumoured) a new, 24-hour beer tent, but instead
it was the University Students’ Council’s latest
addition to the Concrete Beach renovation — a purple
roof over the stairs to the University Community Centre basement.
“[The idea of the roof has] been bandied about for years,” said
USC services manager Paul Tomlinson. “It’s got two
purposes — to protect the stairs, because in the winter
they get jammed up with snow and the caretakers have to close
them off. And secondly, it’s to give a little profile to
the shops and services downstairs [in the UCC] to people coming
“Essentially, it lets people know that there are shops
and services on the UCC lower level — that entrance wasn’t
being utilized to its full potential,” said USC President
Paul Yeoman, adding the new entrance was an aesthetic feature
that was in the plans.
Tomlinson also remarked on the advertising benefits of the
roof. “It certainly stands out, which is what you want,” he
The addition has been met by differing student responses.
“I think it’s hideous. I understand that it’s
purple pride and everything, but look at it. Is this what we’re
waiting for?” asked third-year political science and sociology
student Angie Gachui.
Fourth-year health sciences student Greg Seabert said the new
roof was in the way. “It just looks like the [USC shops
and services] are just advertising for more money downstairs,” he
“I think it’s ugly. It’s cheesy and not very
creative — going purple. It’s amid a sea of concrete
and it’s purple. Maybe once we get some shrubbery, it’ll
be nicer,” said fourth-year geography student Laura Hill.
Roger the Shrubber may already be on the case, though, as
there are maple trees in planters waiting and more decorative
stonework to be done, which ought to make the new roof
a little less stark, Tomlinson added.
The continuously changing face of Concrete Beach has brought
its share of reactions from everyone at Western and Yeoman
said he is prepared to hear them.
“I invite any and all comments on the Concrete Beach renovation
and you can direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org,” he said.