Western shines in shadown program
By Sara Marett
Many Western students are seeing their shadows this week as they participate in campus tour programs for high school students. Western's First Nations Services held a shadowing program yesterday in an attempt to increase native representation on campus.
The program was organized by the First Nations Resource Centre and is one of the many initiatives to improve recruitment at Western resulting from decreased applications for the 1997-98 school year.
In the hope of attracting high school students on March break, Western is hosting an open house this week with similar programs. This is the first year for the program organized by First Nations Services and organizers said it should continue in the future.
"I think it's a great opportunity to showcase the services Western has to offer high school students," said Ian McCallum, a student volunteer with the university bridging and peer support program which organized the tours. "We called reserve counsellors, educational facilities and high schools to advertise the program, particularly on Six Nations and Kettle Point reserves," he added.
McCallum explained the volunteers matched themselves up with the students in the morning and gave them a personal tour of the campus and attended first-year philosophy and psychology lectures.
"The tour gives these students the chance to ask questions about Western in general and about fitting in as a minority on campus," he said, adding there are currently approximately 100 native students attending Western and he would like to see this number rise.
Joanna Cloud, one of the students involved in yesterday's program, is considering attending Western as a part-time student next year. She gave Western rave reviews and said the tour made the school much less intimidating for her. "The students made us feel very comfortable and answered all our questions," she said. "I thought the school was very clean and everyone I met was very friendly and helpful."
Susan Bresette, another visiting student, said if she had participated in the tour two years earlier, she would have attended Western instead of community college.