Parks ask admin to read the fine print
By Becky Somerville
In an effort to present an accurate picture of student concerns and increase awareness among the administration, University Students' Council President Ryan Parks has created a newsletter to be in the hands of Western's Senate and the Board of Governor's members by next week.
Although the newsletter is yet to be named, it is designed to create links between students and the administration and is the fulfillment of a platform promise made by Parks during his 1997 election campaign.
"[The newsletter] will give representatives perspectives they may not already have concerning students," he said.
Written by Parks, VP-student issues Sam Castiglione and all student governing members, the first publication will be a two-page summary addressing the issues of increased tuition and student debt, Parks said.
The newsletter will clarify such issues as the actual cost of an education and the debt which graduating students incur, Parks said. He added the newsletter is timely because the debate regarding increased tuition is currently taking place in Senate.
"If after one issue of the newsletter the people who sit on the Board of Governors and the Senate have a better understanding of what students deal with, than it's all worth while," Parks said.
Student senator Rob Walker said the Senate and the Board currently have no way of becoming informed of the actual issues surrounding students.
"[The newsletter] will open the doors of communication so we can start working with the Senate and get them working with us," Walker said.
However, many non-student senators and Board members feel these lines of communication are currently wide open.
"Senators probably are quite aware and sensitive to the needs of students," said VP-academic Greg Moran. He added senators are immersed in the university community through exposure to The Gazette and interaction in a classroom setting.
Moran did say, however, that he would be interested in any kind of information that would better inform the Senate and the Board on the needs and concerns of students.
Dean of music and Senator Jeffrey Stokes said although he was not against the initiative of sharing more student concerns, he thought student issues are being adequately voiced at the Senate level.
Mike Melnick, a third-year economics student, said he thinks the administration is not aware of student concerns. "It's not their fault though. Students aren't voicing their opinions."
Parks said he plans to discuss the newsletter with the USC president-elect to ensure it continues after he has left office. He added he will encourage the new president to decide on the frequency of the publication in the future.