Volume 92, Issue 18

Friday, October 2, 1998

homing in


Alumni, witness the death of the student voice

Re: Orientation Week

To the Editor:

What better time to expose the grim realities of university politics than on the eve of Homecoming.

That's right people, it's come to this – students having to resort to alternative means in order to get their point across, in order to be heard. I used to be like most of the student population, swimming in apathy, but that all changed when I was greeted by Saugeen Sophs who welcomed me to Western.

Before most of you throw down the paper because you're sick of hearing about Frosh Week, please know that what is happening at this school is bigger than any single issue. Frosh Week is but one square on the Western chessboard and the player labelled "student voice" is about to topple.

Western's administration has decided, for 1999, that move-in day for first-year students will be on a Wednesday with classes to follow the next day. Do they think that new students will have enough time to buy books, overcome shock, get settled, unpacked, etc. in less than 24 hours before classes start? This will be baptism by fire for most.

And this is the last step in a four-year process which will forever seal the Frosh Week coffin at Western. The admin at this school has cleverly instituted changes to Frosh week in increments over my university career and their initial plan is almost complete. School used to start on Monday after Frosh week. Groups used to be able to organize safe, off campus events. We used to have Sophs on every floor of residence. See where this is going?

I'll bet they're pretty happy over at Stevenson-Lawson right now. After all, they just have to wait one more year before the best Frosh Week program in Canada is crushed. One more year before nobody will be around to remember Western spirit. One more year before they can say that the student voice is dead. How long before they deregulate your tuition? How long will it take before you realize this affects all students? This is your school. Don't let this happen.

If you are Western alumni and are reading this, students need your help. Western admin has decided to ignore the student voice, but your power and influence can help change all of that. This Homecoming weekend, please listen to what students have to say. Please show your support by signing a petition, wearing a button, reading a pamphlet and sending an email. How good would you feel about donating to your Alma Mater knowing that it doesn't listen to its students? Frosh Week at Western is something special to all of us.

Western admin – take note – because this is not a done deal. You will be hearing from us soon.

SzeJack Tan

Future non-contributing alumnus

Biology IV

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazette.opinions@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998