One of the most reactive issues to hit Western's campus this fall was the administration's decision to eliminate upper-year students and volunteers from residences next year. The latest news on the issue is that once again, administrators are handing down orders connected to this decision.
It seems they let the fire die just enough, before deciding to drop another bomb and once again, the one dropped this week was done without sufficient input from students. While it seems the administration may have reconsidered its original decision, instead of completely eliminating Sophs living in residence, now only half the number will be present.
One Soph will be assigned to each floor of Western's residences next year plus four council executives per building amounting to only half of the current number of upper-year support for students living in residence.
Once again, students are screaming in protest over the unfairness of the decision. And once again such outrage comes as no surprise. After all, upper-year students know what their first year was like living in residence and they, more than anyone, can foresee the implications to come out of such action. This, along with the deliberate tactics of administration to again remove students from the decision-making process is unacceptable.
Because there are fewer Sophs in residences next year, the ones who are there will inevitably be overloaded first-year students will not receive the guidance and leadership they need. Social events usually organized by Sophs will dwindle, right along with residence spirit. Already those who may have originally planned to take a Soph position next year are reconsidering their choices.
Now think about the implications of this decision for orientation week. If there are less Sophs in residence, who will be there to provide enthusiastic leadership and encourage first-year students to become involved? Certainly this must fit nicely into the overall plan of administrators to make orientation week less spirited and more academic in the first place.
Further, the administration's unwillingness to offer any guarantees that the number of Sophs will be reinstated when the new residence is built in 1999 almost indicates that students should brace themselves for the next bomb to drop when it is decided that, just maybe, the role of Sophs are a thing of the past.