Hogtown to be trampled by purple mustangs
By Kevin Gale
An army of purple and white will descend on Toronto Saturday in an attempt to recruit high school students to Western.
Purple and White Day is a chance to showcase the university to high school students in the Toronto area who have expressed an interest in attending Western.
Over 2,400 invitations have been sent out for the event, which includes a display and information session for students and a dinner and dance for students and Western alumni, which will be held at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.
However, the University Students' Council declined the opportunity to attend the event because the $750 cost, explained Dave Tompkins, USC president. Tompkins said he was only granted time to speak at the Saturday night dinner and the event conflicts with an Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance meeting in Waterloo.
Ted Garrard, Western's VP-external, said he did not feel Tompkins should get more time to speak than others, such as Western president Paul Davenport, both of whom were invited to give greetings only.
Chris Keith, USC VP-finance, who sat on the recent provost's committee on recruitment at Western, questioned the effectiveness of such an event, as it is March break for high school students this week. "They'll miss out on those who go away," he said.
Also, a brunch for parents of current Western students has been cancelled due to low interest.
Samantha Hoffman, co-ordinator of the event for Western's department of alumni and development, said the intent of the event is to bring Western to students who were unable to travel to London this week for the March break open house.
Keith said the way in which Western presents itself is key to the success of the event. "Too much of the 'achievement' approach will turn students off. They should focus on what the school can do for you," he said.
Garrard said the event will focus on both these ideas with displays about extra-curricular activities and the campus itself. Students will also be given the opportunity to meet faculty and administration from Western. "It's a far more competitive market recruiting around Toronto. We have to do everything to get students here and change the perception of Western," he said, adding Toronto is traditionally a strong area for undergraduate recruitment, which totalled 2,400 in 1995-96.