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This Week in Gauntlet History, October 6th to 12th

By Nikayla Goddard, October 9 2019 —

Within the pages of the Gauntlet, history has shown itself to be a pattern. Recurring issues surrounding politics, economy, equal rights, and more cycle through each year – some things have changed, but a lot also hasn’t. ‘This Week in Gauntlet History’ recounts a handful of published stories from the past that are either interesting or relevant to today’s events. Stretching from our first issue in September of 1960 through to the turn of the 21st century, the Gauntlet is packed full of historical events and wild campus tales. 

This week brings us a panel discussion from 1961 on the dangers of nuclear fallout and radiation, University of Alberta, Calgary, announcing that they will have an orchestra, establishment of independent Faculty Councils on campus, beginning of the construction of Calgary (now Craigie) Hall and the Fine Arts Centre and Blue Jeans Day to support gay rights.


October 6th, 1961: “Radiation Problems.”

This article recounted a panel discussion between assistant professor of physics Dr. Terentuik, associate professor of zoology Dr. Hartland-Rowe and Director of the Department of Radiology at the General Hospital Dr. Symington over the dangers of nuclear fallout and radiation. 

“Dr. Terentuik emphasized the physical aspects of nuclear fallout and radiation. He said that all human beings are exposed to a natural background radiation, which includes cosmic rays and surrounding x-rays for medical purposes. With the explosion of nuclear bombs another hazard appeared, that of radio-active fallout particles.” 

Dr. Hartland-Rowe explained how radiation has “both immediate bodily effects, which may be fatal if the dosage is great enough, and delayed effects, such as the causing of cancer and genetic flaws.”


October 12th, 1962: “UAC To Have Orchestra.”

“Department officials report a few students have shown interest in a campus orchestra, but more instrumentalists are needed before a satisfactory ensemble can be established.”

Any interested brass, woodwind or percussion players are invited to contact Dr. Finn or Mrs. Hyde, and “instruments will be supplied by the university and no great experience required.”


October 11th, 1963: “Autonomy Granted To Faculties.”

Leading up towards the fight for University of Calgary  autonomy from the University of Alberta, Dr. Malcolm Taylor announced the establishment of independent Faculty Councils at the UAC, along with the organization of departments within these faculties and the appointment of 20 department heads. 

He also increased the autonomy of the Engineering and Physical Education departments by establishing the Engineering faculty as a division of Engineering in Edmonton with its own Calgary Chairman and establishing Physical Education as a Department of the School of Physical Education. The Faculty of Education was also separated from the Faculty of Education in Edmonton, and the Faculty of Arts and Science was allowed to run parallel to the two Edmonton faculties of Arts and Science. 

All of these separated groups were made responsible to the General Faculty Council. 


October 9th, 1964: “Construction Begun On Fine Arts Centre.”

After two and a half years of planning, construction began on the first stages of what is currently Craigie Hall, known back then as Calgary Hall.

“When completed, Calgary Hall will consist of a complex of buildings containing facilities for instruction in the fields English, Music, the Classics, Drama, Languages, Philosophy and Geography.

“Mr. Webb, Head of the Building Commission, stated the cost of this project as being $3,025,000. He anticipates completion of approximately two-thirds of the project by September of 1965.”

The “core” of the Hall was set to be the 500 seat theatre adjacent to two nearby parking lots, set within a building with an “L-shaped shaped structure of precast concrete” and “two storeyed.”

A brief to the University Planning Committee from the Calgary Hall Planning Committee describes Calgary Hall as “situated centrally enough for departments in all faculties to use the large 500 and 250 seat lecture theatres which will be constructed in it.”


October 8th, 1992: “Blue Jeans Day – wear denim if you support gay rights.”

Blue Jeans Day was held on October 9 in 1992 for the second year. GLASS (Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Academics, Students and Staff) held the annual event to raise awareness of gay rights.

“Gays and lesbians are subjected to contempt and functions like BJD are designed to introduce the ‘closet gay’ to a support network of other gays and heterosexuals and convince individuals — because there is no need to hide in a closet — to ‘come out.’ ”

The GLASS office also held an open house designed to enable people to feel comfortable approaching the office for information and support. 

The article was followed by another piece called “Gender-neutral language — the work of Satan?” which is about working towards utilizing and incorporating gender-neutral language into universities.

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