Volume 92, Issue 22

Wednesday, October 14, 1998

in living colour


Quitting time

Once again the administrative scissors have snipped another valuable thread away from the fragile academic web.

This year will mark the end of Brescia College's clothing, textiles and design program, nearly 30 years after its inception. It has also only been a few months since the program has been offered as a Bachelor of Arts degree, as opposed to the previous Bachelor of Science.

Reasons for cutting the program include funding issues and lack of enrolment – which are reasonable objections to continuing to offer the program. What is not reasonable is allowing a unique program such as this to slip away. Memories of Western's drama program are still haunting University College as the Drama Workshop is dismantled.

If the entire program now only consists of 15 or so students, someone must have realized a while ago something needed to be done. There are many tactics which could have been used to promote this program but they either weren't used or were not used effectively.

For example, the university liasons, which venture out to pollute young high school minds with visions of our glorious institution, should also be promoting the lesser known programs offered, especially those in the affiliated colleges. Not many high school kids know what types of programs are offered in the university sphere, outside of math, science and English. And their guidance counsellors certainly aren't going to tell them.

Despite low enrolment for the clothing, textiles and design program, interest is most certainly abundant. Ryerson University is well-known for its creative arts programs and yearly draws large numbers of applicants. If only prospective students knew Western offered such a program – the university might get a few of those applications.

But no, wait. It's way too hard to do that. Why work really hard to improve a valuable program when the program can easily be chopped by the ever ready Western axe. It's called quitting – something that is supposedly frowned upon at this institution of higher learning.

With the way of the world going towards technical/science-based education and employment, the arts are being pushed onto the back burner. But we all can't crunch numbers for a living.

Someone needs to entertain and stimulate our minds. And someone has to design those fancy clothes we all put down fistfuls of cash for. If we want to live in a prison-house of drab grey jumpsuits, then the path is laid towards a colourless world devoid of imagination.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazette.editor@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998