Volume 92, Issue 7

Tuesday, September 15, 1998

here we go


Forcing Frosh to start fresh

Dipesh Mistry/Gazette

YOU'LL NEVER DEFEAT ME, DR. EVIL. Psychology II student Leslie Gelfand and Reed Osler (Anthropology II) joust over who will get the last cookie at last Saturday's Campus Expo.

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

While the afterglow of a successful orientation remains fresh in the minds of first-year students and Sophs all around campus, the threat of a shortened Orientation week has since become a reality.

In a senate meeting last June, the fate of Western's 1999 O-Week became permanently shortened when Greg Moran, VP-academic at Western, announced moving day for the next year's first-year students will be held in the middle of the week, on a Wednesday.

"Students are mad and want to fight for it – they're ready to do whatever it takes to save it," said Szejack Tan, Orientation officer for the University Students' Council.

With 4,000 first year students and only 750 Sophs, Tan believes Western has the best orientation program in Canada. "The overall enthusiasm and spirit is unique to Western," he said.

Since the change to O-week would not effect the academic calendar, Moran was able to make this change based upon his own power and was not required to pass the decision through other university governing bodies such as the Board of Governors, said Melissa Cousineau, VP-student affairs for the USC.

The change to the once week-long event means first-year students may miss out on various Frosh week events including the Western olympics, pub crawls and perhaps even the special guests who perform on University College hill.

"Orientation serves a fine purpose, I'm not proposing we get rid of it – we don't need the days before classes start," Moran said. He added the university has various other orientation-related activities for first year students both within the academic year as well as throughout the summer. "The university has a summer program as well as a centre for new students," he said.

"The whole point of Orientation week is to welcome students to Western," Cousineau said. "It's very frustrating – I know how hard it is to adjust." Cousineau also added that students who move to London from other cities and provinces often worry about making friends and fitting in. "Orientation week is about getting to know people – it's a support system."

Part of the decision to change the timing and events of Western's traditional O-Week stems from the university's past stereotype of being a party school. "Yes, we are trying to get rid of [Western's] party image," Moran said.

"Ideally, I would like there to be two images – that it is a fine place to get an education and that it is an enjoyable place to get an education," Moran said. "What's problematic is that new students tend to get this reversed and that's not what university is about."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998