Confused students are urging the University to change the name of the Faculty of Social Sciences building to avoid confusion with a popular on-campus restaurant.
After multiple incidences of students confusing the Faculty of Social Sciences building (FSS) with the restaurant Father and Sons (popularly known as “F&S”), a Coalition of Frustrated Students (CFS) has formed to advocate for a name change.
CFS President Brian Quintedski told the Fulcrum, “It’s a simple mistake to make. Someone says, ‘Meet me at FSS, someone mishears them and shows up at Father and Sons. It may seem trivial, but this has become a pervasive problem at uOttawa, especially for first-years who are unfamiliar with the campus layout.”
For many, this confusion has resulted in an academic decline. “I could have sworn my study group was supposed to meet at F&S,” explains 2nd Year Economics student Zak Brown. “So when I showed up and no one was there, I figured, ‘Well, I’ll just grab a drink and wait.’ Next thing I know, I’m on my fourth beer, and still no one. So that wasn’t very productive at all.”
Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, recalls sitting down in the lobby of FSS and wondering why no one arrived to take his order. “I only realized I was in the wrong place because I happened to check Facebook and saw dozens of pictures of my friends at the bar.” He says he waited there for an hour, and even sent an email to the university administration complaining about the slow service.
“It really ruined my night,” he adds.
The Frustrated Students put forward a resolution to change the name of the Faculty of Social Sciences building at the recent General Assembly. However their bill died when the GA didn’t meet quorum. Quintedski called the failure of the bill “a disappointment,” but holds out hope that they will be able to achieve change through other channels.
“We’ve sent several letters to Alan Rock, asking for a meeting to discuss this. We hope to hear back soon about that.”
Their initiative has been a controversial one. “Instead of changing the name of a building, why don’t we just call the restaurant by its proper name?” asks 3rd Year Political Science student Lyra Wilkins. “How difficult is it to say, “Father and Sons?”
First-year Arts student Natalie McGeenly views this as a larger systematic problem. “There are far too many acronyms on campus – FSS, DMS, UCU, and now ARC. And that’s not even considering all the student associations, who seem to go by increasingly complex acronyms. Specifically targeting FSS oversimplifies this whole issue.”
Quintedski doesn’t dispute this critique. The 4th-year Political Science student admitted, “It’s true that FSS is far from the only confusing acronym on campus. Heck, I don’t even know what my student association is called anymore. This fight is just a first step in a larger effort to make campus more easily navigable.”
The group is facing an uphill battle in more ways than one. They recently received a Cease and Desist order from the Canadian Federation of Students, who accused them of unauthorized use of their acronym.
This has been the most significant roadblock the Frustrated Students have faced. A visibly distressed Quintedski told the Fulcrum, “I’m disappointed that the Canadian Federation of Students would take issue with this. We’ve already printed promotional material and applied for OPIRG funding under this name. I don’t know how they expect us to change our name at this point.”
Originally published in The Fulcrum as “Acronym anxiety running rampant on campus”, December 4, 2014. Satire.