Maclean's half right
Re: Maclean's 1997 university rankings
To the Editor:
In late 1997, a weekly newsmagazine rated Canada's 51 universities based upon; student body, classes, faculty, finances, library and reputation. In the '97 ranking, Western fell three notches to ninth place in the medical/doctoral overall ranking. Although this ranking was somewhat disappointing, Maclean's "definitive guide to aid Canadian students to choose the institution that is right for them" is nothing but, in my opinion, a guide to where you can get the "biggest bang for your buck," academically AND provided that you take advantage of all of the academic resources available.
In Maclean's attempt to "establish a new level of debate on higher education in Canada," they have established that "...funding is shrinking, tuition skyrocketing, debt-load rising." These are facts we know and live with. BUT, students still come and look forward to the experience that lies at university.
Western was and is a university of quality. We have some of the top competitive teams in Canada (athletic and debating no disrespect to either one), an excellent student run and written paper published four times weekly, a first-year orientation program, residences, University Students' Council definitely one of the most active that I have ever seen Canada-wide. What is common in all of these things are student volunteers and student commitment. The spirit Western embodies in its students makes them want to give back. Frosh (opps! sorry, first-year students), Sophs, R.A.s, Dons, athletes, any-council members... you get the picture.
The point that I am trying to make is that Maclean's can not evaluate the experience and spirit at Western. I sincerely hope the high school students applying to university for the fall do not let Maclean's rankings guide them and their parents to the university "that is right for them" because Maclean's provides only half of the picture.