ACES will not fold
By Ian C. Robertson
After the decision earlier this month by the University Students' Council to dissolve the Association of Continuing Education Studies, mature and part-time students are still angry.
Ian Armour, president of the USC, said the new lifelong commissioner's position, which has been set up to fill the role of the disbanded ACES group, will maintain the same structure as ACES. "The new position will maintain a social club to support and encourage mature students as ACES did," he said.
In response to the creation of this new position, Josee Morin, former acting president of ACES, said mature students groups from other universities have encouraged her to set up an off campus organization with private funding to meet the needs of students in the Western community.
Paula Platero, last year's ACES president, said mature students are not content to sit back and let the USC go ahead with its plan. "We have spoken to administration and USC members to gain support and will be starting a petition soon," Platero said.
She added there is a secret plan being worked on to get ACES back.
"[The new position] has the intent to strengthen the role of mature students and optimize the impact of the USC," said Jim Walden, USC general manager.
This isn't good enough when you look at what other universities have for their older students, said Morin.
Morin added mature students are outraged by the dissolvement of ACES and the USC has not listened to their concerns.
Armour said he has received six emails from mature students who changed their positions once the new commissionership was explained. "I'm not trying to crush representation, I'm trying to improve representation."
The deadline for applications for the new commissionership was last Friday, but since none were received it will be extended, Armour said. "This is discouraging for mature students at Western."
The lack of interest was probably due to some left over bitterness by ACES members and a lack of desire among mature students to be a full-time volunteer, Armour added.
Morin agreed with that point and added no one would want to run after seeing how the USC treated ACES.
If no applications are received a general student will have to be recruited. Until a commissioner is appointed the duties will remain under the USC president's portfolio, Armour said.
Morin said she is also upset because she has not received any money for her efforts as president.
Money, in the form of honoraria, is only a convention if the work of a commissioner is so great they deserve it, said Armour. In previous years money had been given to the president of ACES but there is nothing to say the USC has to give honoraria, he added.