While some of us on campus work in sterile, linoleum-lined rooms with fluorescent lighting and metal and wood-grain desks, those University of Houston employees who spend their days in the South Office Annex have a far more enjoyable workplace. It's true: The secret can no longer be hidden. The South Office Annex is a wildlife park.
Some of you may be skeptical, but after seeing conditions at that building, it's clear that the facility should be declared a national wetlands preserve.
While the rest of us labor in artificial environments, the UH plant people have allowed half the SOA to be condemned.
However, they were considerate enough to leave glass doors through which Annexites can view the natural water park that flourishes among the collapsed roofs and broken flooring.
Those who work in the SOA claim they are waiting to be relocated to a new building. They say the university does not want to spend money repairing the existing facility since a new one will soon be constructed.
But how can they be serious? The latest reports tell of rats in the building. Yes, rats! Furry woodland creatures! There is little doubt that elsewhere in this wildlife preserve, cavorting among the native plants, one could find chipmunks, hedgehogs, woodchucks, nutrias, minks, bunnies, cranes, geese ...
Back to the rats. It is obvious that the UH custodial staff is unclear on the value of these little friends. When one of the rats was unfortunately caught in a glue trap recently, custodians waited all day to set it free. This travesty shows our support staff's gross inattention to UH's natural resources. Don't they realize we are trying to cultivate an oasis here?
The only thing worse than the fact that the university has kept this jewel of nature hidden from the rest of us for so long is that it does not allow the rest of us to create similarly delightful environments all over campus. No, officials say, we cannot remodel other buildings, citing "regular maintenance" as the major roadblock.
But we should be thankful that employees and students in the SOA, and the children visiting UH clinics housed there are not deprived of the rats, spiders, leaky roofs and asbestos. And we should be thankful to attend the university that allows those conditions to exist.
The gray-box editorials reflect the opinion of The Daily Cougar editorial board and editorial staff. All other opinions, letters, commentaries and cartoons reflect the viewpoint of the writer. Letters to the editor reflect only the opinion of the individual writers. No opinions expressed in The Daily Cougar necessarily reflect those of the University of Houston administration or the student body at large.