Volume 90, Issue 92

Wednesday, March 19, 1997



EDITORIAL: Bueller, Bueller.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

University Students' Council President Dave Tompkins may have been feeling both yesterday as two of his initiatives met with decidedly different reactions.

First the good news. Yesterday, Tompkins received word that the university's president, Paul Davenport, will be endorsing Tompkins' proposal to eliminate the current $50 support fee for scholarships and replace it with a student-administered endowment fund to help ensure future sources of scholarship funding.

Now the bad. Tompkins spent some of his day standing outside in the relatively-balmy temperature reading student emails that were sent to Davenport's office. However, the plan was to have a number of students videotape their concerns and send them out in a media-blitz.

The problem is you could count the number of students who attended both events combined on one hand – even if you didn't have an opposable thumb.

So what does this say about students at this campus? While some may not agree with the tactics of other university students' councils, the students at those campuses have mobilized in protests against their administration.

Apparently at Western, if students have to get out of our seat, they're not interested.

While the virtual sit-in can be considered a cosmetic success [it's difficult to assess the real success as it's so ethereal in nature], opportunities students have had to make their voices heard in other manners have gone to waste.

Where are all the grumbling students who complain about tuition increases and ask, "How am I going to afford school in two years?" Where are all the students who have written letters to this publication questioning the raising of council salaries? Where are those concerned voices?

Obviously not where they were needed most.

Even if you are not in agreement with the manner the USC has taken in protesting proposed tuition increases, yesterday's forum was an opportunity to make your dissension known. If enough students wanted a physical protest and got off their butts to tell someone, council would take notice.

However, how disenchanting must it be for people who put effort into fighting for what they believe is in the best interests of students when they receive no support from the greater student body?

To Western's administration, yesterday's lack of student support may appear to be a tacit endorsement of the university's actions.

A message was sent. Hope it's the one students wanted.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997