By Melanie Woods, April 4 2017 —
The University of Calgary suffered a blow last week after the famous “Leon the Frog” poem ascending the Social Sciences tower stairs was accidentally painted over by crews tasked with removing graffiti. While the university has issued a statement saying they plan to restore the poem, U of C vice-president student experience Laura Parson said the restoration will come with a few key revisions.
“We really want ‘Leon the Frog’ to reflect the modern student experience here at the U of C as we, administrative bureaucrats 30 years removed from our undergrads, see it,” Parson said.
Parson said the updated version of “Leon the Frog” is tentatively titled “Leon Lifts Up His Eyes” and reflects the university’s commitment to the student experience. The story is about a young frog who enters the U of C and learns all about the long-term strategic vision and Eyes High focus of the university as he learns to lift up his eyes to his potential.
“Students are really going to connect with it,” Parson said. “Every second floor includes a section of the new Energizing Eyes High strategy that was recently approved by the Board of Governors. This is really a chance to bring our strategic vision directly to what students care about most — a decrepit old stairwell.”
Parson said at the top of the tower, Leon will finally achieve his goal of being a top-five research amphibian in Canada.
“You see, as students ascend the stairs, they’ll relate to Leon and our vision. When they reach the top, they’ll realize they have lifted up their eyes the whole time to get there,” she said. “It’s really quite inspiring.”
Parson clarified that students would literally be lifting up their eyes the whole time, as the new text will be painted in block letters — along with the red, yellow and white Eyes High stars — on the ceiling of the stairwell.
“At the beginning, of course, we will also include an extensive list of donors and collaborators who gave their time to the project,” Parson said. “‘Suncor, Encana, Devon, Shell and the Taylor Family present: Leon Lifts Up His Eyes is going to become entrenched into campus life. Students might even come up with a fun acronym like TFDL for it — doesn’t SEDSTFPLLUHE have a nice ring to it? Students are going to care about this for decades just like they did the old poem. There is literally no difference.”
Parson said any attempts to rewrite the original poem will be treated as graffiti.
“We’re giving the students something so much better here — a chance at a long-term strategic vision,” Parson said. “If that doesn’t say ‘student experience’, I don’t know what does.”
Parson also said that in an attempt to continue to refine the student experience, the U of C plans to convert Bermuda Shorts Day into a donors-only private event at the Red and White Club, demolish the Prairie Chicken to expand the administration building with another glass staircase and shut down Bake Chef.
“We control MacHall now and one member of our focus group of five students from the Foothills campus said he never ate there, so Bake Chef is obviously inessential,” Parson said. “I think what we could really use is another Pita on the Run.”
This article is part of our humour section.