EXTRA-CURRICULAR CONFLICTS  An article by Lexy Dryburgh

When I went to live in London I took few possessions, mostly clothes. So I was amazed to find amongst my things a yellowed newspaper article from the Gateway, the University of Alberta newspaper. Someone called Lexy Dryburgh wrote a rather interesting article. She is me, a twenty year old version. It is reproduced here. It seems I could write way back then. I find it weird beyond belief. I did not follow that career path even though I was provided the opportunity. Instead I seemed intent on marrying Garth McBride which I did some four years later. He was not supportive of my writing and remains extremely non-supportive. I wonder why? We have been divorced for decades. He now lives rather close by, in Victoria. I have not seen him since a day in London when he signed papers becoming the guarantor of my Canadian passport which is why I am here now. It is most strange.



by Lexy Dryburgh
“Students on the U of A campus tend to be apathetic, “ said Ken Clover, co-ordinator of students’ Union activities. “ There is a general  disinterest in student Union activities. For instance, Stan Kenton. “ This disinterest is not limited to SU activities – sports also bear the brunt of this disinterest. “
The senior students are too often to blame, “ Ken stated. He cited the example of football games. Despite all the promoting on Frosh Week, poor attendance of senior students discourages Frosh. Frosh begin to think no one else bothers so why should they?
“ School spirit is based largely on tradition, especially in the old British universities. Two or three  generations of the same family have often attended the same university. Ours is a relatively young  university and there are few even second generation students. “ Glover hopes with the influx of  more of these second generation students that school spirits will rise (i.e.. your share of school  spirit – reproduce!)
Why is school spirit important? Ken, munching on his apple pondered and then called in Peter Hyndman.
“God help this university. “)
Peter piped in with “It’s a cohesive unifying force which can spiritually weld a campus which in our case is both decentralised geographically and has a small percentage of students living on campus. “
Ken got back into the act by explaining ways in which this “force” can be brought into action. One is to have strong and competitive fraternity clubs. Another way, he felt, is to increase the number of frats or of frat members. This inter- fraternity spirit contributes a great deal to school spirit in many of the U. S. universities. Two examples of frat contribution, according to Ken are Jubilee Day (’58-’59) and the fact that most students’ council members are frat boys and girls.
Is school spirit essentially tied up with extra- curricular activities? “not necessarily, but I think it tends to be stronger when associated with extra- curricula as well as scholastic achievements. “
Do we have too many extra- curricular activities? “No, I don’t think so. There are 96 clubs on campus but this many are needed because there are so many students with so many different interests. This way everyone can find his niche. Students rarely belong to more than three clubs and this need not be too many. “
“You get out of a club what you put into it, “ emphatically declares Glover, “It gives you a sense of responsibility as well as pleasure, “ In every extra- curricular activity a person must accept some responsibility. If no one accepted any responsibility Glover said, “God help this university!”
“Students’ Union could be disbanded and the members energies better expended, “ law professor W. H. Angus, former University of Toronto Students’ Union president emphatically stated, “Being through all this myself, on looking back I see that many of my own energies were wasted in a rather meaningless way. My time and others’ could have been more beneficially spent. “
Angus and English professor J. T. Jones agreed that extra- curricular activities are an intrinsic part of university life but fear they may outshine the reason we came to university.
“The clubs which centre around frivolity would be much better eliminated. “ said Angus, “this would rid campus of fifty percent of its clubs.”
Sports and recreational clubs got the worst seal of approval – as both felt that students need exercise and recreation. But, “there must be moderation in all things,” said Angus “not all sports and nothing else.”
Jones (once a Galewayite) feels that work on Galeway is too time consuming and people working  for it think the be all and end all is the damned deadline. (unfortunately for all concerned, I wasn’t  convinced.)
Angus feels that work on Galeway is beneficial as it encourages students to express their thoughts  and be more creative.
Jones said the main problem of extra- curricular activity is that it often tends to become another responsibility rather than relaxation and enjoyment. He felt that if a student keeps up with his school work he is “entitled to relax in any way he sees fit.”
Is school spirit tied up with extra- curricular activity?
First of all what is school spirit?
Jones admitted he didn’t know.
“ … the be all and end all is the damned deadline.”
Angus said, “to a great extent it is a great deal of organised nonsense. At present it comes from an outgrowth of juvenile morals and is adhered to through conformity.”
“An individual should have pride in a community entered around intellectual pursuits.” For this reason Angus feels that school spirit is not necessarily tied up with extra- curricular activities.
How do you rate the general level of conversation in Tuck or in SUB cafe? Mr. Jones said he hadn’t been been listening. Angus said “I am appalled at the level of conversation of most students. They are pre- occupied with petty social matters.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *