Gearing up for Day of Action
By Brendan Howe
The University Students' Council and Society of Graduate Students is getting ready to launch extensive promotions for the Jan. 28 National Day of Action just in time for the event to happen.
On Wednesday, schools across the country will be participating in huge rallies against high tuition levels, student debt and accessibility to post-secondary education and Western will be trying to do the same thing, however, the size of the rally is uncertain at this point.
"I think the majority of Western students will know it's going on, whether they will come out or not is another story," said James Deans, USC VP-communications. He added the USC will do a better job at getting people out to the rally then they did last year with a similar tuition protest on Concrete Beach.
The day of action is being organized by the Canadian Federation of Students. At Western, SOGS and the USC are organizing a rally on Concrete Beach where they hope students, faculty, staff and other members of the community will come out to discuss educational issues.
Promotional efforts will include handing out rave cards, putting up posters around campus, sending out press releases and placing various media advertisements. USC President Ryan Parks said he is also meeting with residence presidents who he hopes, along with councillors, will take the message back to their constituents.
He said posters will be all over poster boards and elsewhere on campus by today. He explained the only thing they are waiting for is SOGS to finish getting the posters and other material printed.
As for attendance at the event, Parks is hoping to get students from London high schools to come out as well as members of the university administration. "It's difficult to think of a situation that's more important to students than tuition, debt and the cost of education. I'm expecting a crowd."
Helen Roos, president of SOGS, said they are planning to set up information booths across campus in at least eight different buildings next week. SOGS has been contacting people by email and is hoping their members, many of whom are teaching assistants, will tell students about the day and increase awareness.
She also said they have requested university president Paul Davenport to come speak at the event but were told he had other commitments that day. "He should be here to speak to his own university for five minutes. It's appalling."
Judy Noordermeer, public affairs officer at Western, said she did not know what Davenport's schedule is for that day.
Contrary to what was written in Parks' column in the USC insert yesterday, the protest will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
When Western participated in the National Day of Action in 1995, over 400 people crowded the Concrete Beach.