By Brad McLeod
In light of the recent federal government decision to discontinue Canada’s one cent coin, Build SFU, the SFSS proposal for building a new student union building, has a new plan to use pennies to the school’s advantage.
The plan, which will become official as soon as next week, will see the SFSS asking students to hold off on any plans to give their pennies to charity, wishing wells or railroad tracks, and instead donate them to the SUB building project.
The SFSS believes if every student gives what they can; the project can easily go ahead without the previously planned increase in student fees. The hard part, they believe, will be assembling the pennies into the structure of the building.
“Pennies weren’t in the original design plan, so it’s going to be a bit tricky to stack them like that” said one optimistic member of the Build SFU team, “but what else could we really do with a bunch of coins.”
With intricate stacking, the SUB building is expected to match the designs laid out earlier this year, with the only difference being that the building will now have the potential to collapse at any given time.
Upon its completion, it will become the first structure in the world to be made entirely of coinage. Construction of the project will be led by a voluntary group of craft makers and model enthusiasts who hope to be working with at least a million pennies.
“I haven’t done the math,” said one volunteer, “but that should be enough to cover 100,000 square feet right?”
Although construction time is expected to be drastically increased due to the meticulous work, the SFSS has maintained that the initiative will remain in the hands of students and that they will still be able to see all their ideas come to life, most likely while attending their grandchild’s graduation ceremony.
In fact, the whole penny idea is a direct result of student consultation as the idea for donations came from a sticky note on Build SFU’s Think Tank board. The student credited with the idea commented, “I don’t think they understood what I meant.”
No matter what this student may or may not have had in mind, the “penny building” has attracted its fair share of support from the student body. Despite being criticized by engineers as “impossible” and “a serious risk to student safety,” most students have expressed their approval for the plan with the majority citing “at least it won’t be gray” as their reason for doing so.
The SFSS expects the new penny-based SUB building to become the heart of the SFU campus, which it will remain for many years to come since, any renovations will not occur until the nickel is taken out of circulation.