Volume 92, Issue 19

Tuesday, October 6, 1998

no funny business


Hundreds protest new O-week

By Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

Amid the hoopla of the Homecoming parade and the football game was a student protest aimed at saving Orientation Week.

Students upset with university administration's decision to change move-in day to the Wednesday of Orientation Week, lined the parade route Saturday armed with signs and flyers promoting O-week awareness.

"This was a last resort. No one wants to use Homecoming weekend for a political protest," said SzeJack Tan, University Students' Council orientation officer and one of the organizers of the protest.

Tan said 400 to 500 people were involved in planning the day which he considered to be a success. "I think it was effective in a sense that we got the message out – the goal was met as far as awareness."

Tan added this awareness was important in light of the fact so many alumni were in town and the decision to shorten O-week was made over the summer. "They made the announcement in June when no one was around to fight. It was a good tactic but I don't think they'll get away with it this time," he said.

"I have to be honest, I haven't seen anything to convince me to reconsider my position," said Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic.

Moran said while he has received a lot of emails from students concerned the elimination of the days without classes during O-week would be problematic, he doesn't agree. "I don't think it will have the impact a lot of students think it will."

Moran added while he wouldn't hold out hope they will change their minds, administration is always willing to listen to student concerns.

Melissa Cousineau, USC VP-student affairs, said she recognized the role student leaders need to take. "I think it's our job to take this to the administration – I'm certainly going to try my hardest. They have to reconsider their decision."

Cousineau said in light of all the petitions signed during the protest and the emails sent in, administration has a responsibility to acknowledge students. "Students already feel administration doesn't listen to them, it would be irresponsible to not at least address this," she said.

Tan added he believes O-week can still be saved but to this point not enough has happened.

"There's something big happening. It's not just going to be an old-fashioned protest," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998