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McGill Reporter
May 8, 2003 - Volume 35 Number 15
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To the editor:

Last fall, the Reporter (September 12, 2003) ran a feature story on the McGill staff softball league. This summer, the league, which has been in existence for over 30 years, may find itself without a field to play on. Earlier this year, the field, situated on the edge of Mount Royal, was paved over to make way for tennis courts and/or a parking lot.

Although the land belongs to McGill, and the university is under no obligation to inform the league of its development plans, it would have been a polite gesture to offer some official notice to the league that had been a fixture on the field for so long.

What is more troubling is the destruction of green space on the mountain. How did the university escape the public scrutiny that is part and parcel of any development project on the mountain?

I understand that universities -- especially institutions such as McGill -- like to portray themselves as above the fray of the riff-raff who participate in low-order activities like softball. After all, those who play softball are often associated with the beer drinking crowd versus the portly types who partake in croquet, polo and skeet shooting. But a dose of humility and an ounce of folk music certainly seem in order for those who destroy green space. Although she is no Richard Wagner, Joni Mitchell was on to something when she pointed out that some people "have paved over paradise and put up a parking lot."

Sevak Manjikian
PhD candidate, Islamic Studies

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