Last night saw the end of the Association of Continuing Education Studies, as few knew it and the beginning of what will hopefully be the form many people will know it as the lifelong learning commissioner.
The now former association supposedly represented all part-time and mature students on campus a constituency in the thousands. That's about how many students didn't know what it was or didn't want anything to do with it.
In what was the first controversial move by the fairly new University Students' Council Board of Directors, it appears a good choice was made. ACES and its office will no longer reside on the second floor of the University Community Centre, it will move up a floor and find itself under the umbrella of a commissioner and the former association's constituency will have access to more resources.
Part-time and mature students may even know what the USC is too.
So good-bye $6,000 budget, good-bye comfy couches and microwave and hello representation. Bring on the lifelong learning commissioner and maybe someone who will be able to effectively serve the population of Western with three courses or less.
There is, however, quite the opposition to this move from those who work for ACES and the people who use that office space in Room 258 of the UCC.
So, essentially the problem here is with the loss of the office space. Well, that's not quite fair. Part-time and mature students are losing their own association where they can talk about issues affecting them specifically. Great in theory, but it never happened.
Back to the problem being over losing the office space.
It would be nice if every group on campus had an office and a lounge but that's simply not possible. ACES could say they represent thousands but really, they have very few active members and could almost be compared to one of the clubs on campus. Also, there's no need for this association to be segregated from the rest of undergraduate students the USC can adequately represent all undergrads, including part-time or mature ones.
It is a shame they'll be losing their lounge. But wait a minute aren't there couches all over the UCC where people can sit and talk? There's also a huge, very ineffectively used room called the Education Resource Centre which is available to anyone to use and you won't find huge line-ups to get in there.
Sorry ACES, but the USC is holding the trump card on this one and it's time for you to fold.