Volume 29 - Number 9 - Thursday, January 30, 1997

Get on the bus

Driver Martin Gould stands ready to drive disabled students and staff to any point on campus in the University's spanking new bus. The specially equipped bus is financed largely through alumni donations. Joan Wolforth, director of the Office for Students with Disabilities, says the service currently has 50 regular users, but there is room for more. Students can contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at 6009, while interested staff can call benefits manager Kathleen Tobin at 4900.


Getting hot over hockey

In this corner, sporting a crisp McGill tie, a matching baseball cap and an encyclopedic grasp of sports trivia probably unrivaled in the city, is the University's sports information officer, Earl (the Pearl) Zukerman. His opponent: Nova Scotia historian Garth Vaughan. The two men will square off next Tuesday morning at 8:10 on CTV's Canada AM in a debate aimed at determining who has the bragging rights over inventing hockey--Montreal or Windsor.

Zukerman, of course, will be arguing in favour of Montreal. He says Canada's national game was created by a group of McGill students in 1875. Two years later, the McGill Redmen, one of hockey's oldest organized teams, made their debut. "The evidence is overwhelming," asserts Zukerman, the vice-president for the Quebec chapter of the Society for International Hockey Research. "There is plenty of information about it in old newspaper archives, for instance."

Vaughan takes a contrary view, saying that recently discovered diaries indicate that Nova Scotians were playing a form of hockey well before the Montrealers.

"In a sense he might not be completely wrong," concedes Zukerman. "It all depends on how you define hockey." Zukerman says older British and Irish sports such as hurling and shinny played a role in the creation of hockey, as did the First Nations' game of lacrosse. "The Nova Scotians might have been playing a form of shinny or hurling on ice. If you accept that as the first hockey game, then you have to say the sport was created in Europe, and not in Canada at all."

The game McGill students organized in 1875 set forth the basic structure of the sport as it's still played today, argues Zukerman. "If you look at things like the basic dimensions of the ice surface, the number of players each team puts on the ice, having goalies as part of the game--many of the sport's basic rules--it all goes back to that game in 1875."

Tune in Tuesday to root for the home team.

That old campus spirit

Mount Saint Mary's College in Maryland encourages its graduates to stay in close touch--and not just during their lifetimes. Mount Saint Mary's is one of a handful of universities and colleges in the United States that have begun selling campus burial sites to their alumni.

Mount Saint Mary's is currently accepting applications from graduates and staff for 265 available burial lots. Says the Washington Post, the lots "range in price from $500 to $2,000, depending on the view." The cemetery is located on a large hill overlooking the campus.

According to George Gelles, the director of auxiliary services for Mount Saint Mary's, the school has sold burial lots to 49 families in the two years since the program began. Gelles told the Reporter the program began largely as a result of consumer demand. "We've had many requests over the years from alumni who wanted to be buried on the college's grounds. We thought about it and decided it was a service we could provide. It was also a potential source of income for the college."

Gelles says there are a few other universities in the U.S. that also offer on-campus burials. "The University of Virginia has had a program like this in operation for several years, but they're only accepting cremated remains now--their cemetery is full."

If this sort of thing catches on, James McGill--the University's founder whose body is buried close to the Arts Building--might well have some company one day.

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