UBC: From “Place of Mind” to “Mind Your Place”

by Stephen Petrina on November 2, 2012

For the current CUPE 2278 strike, the Teaching Assistants have adopted UBC “Mind Your Place” as an operative theme, playing on UBC’s Strategic Plan logo “Place of Mind.” Like another domino of logos and brands, this one has now fallen. UBC “Mind Your Place” is CUPE 2278’s not so subtle reminder of the TAs’ struggles for the fair working conditions that might allow them to be a part of what Hannah Arendt called in 1973 “the life of the mind.” It’s too easy for University managers to enjoy their perks and salary increases and raise flags to the great “Place of Mind” while passing the “Mind y/our Place” buck to scapegoats such as PSEC. The money is there and will be there, in house at the University, to settle with the students on 5% per year over at least four years.

Many of us recall the previous administration’s campaign brand and logo, “Think about It,” as it fell into some disrepute and was eventually abandoned around 2003-2004 and CUPE 2278’s last strike. The brand had toppled, as graduate student Kedrick James put it at the time, from “Think about It” to “Build on It.” Priorities and power shifted to UBC Properties Trust. Nowadays,the four top Executives of UBC Properties Trust enjoy a cumulative $1.3m in salaries, including perks for cars