Volume 92, Issue 60

Thursday, January 14, 1999



Win some, lose some

Chretien confusion surrounds club

Westminster may become a Western residence

Pigs fly to Canada to help out research

1,200 biz keeners to do gaming

New Earth-sized planet could sustain life


Hot Air

Caught on campus

Caught on campus too

Westminster may become a Western residence

By Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

Westminster could soon join the rest of Western's residences and fall under the managerial control of housing and food services.

"We've talked to Westminster about not this forthcoming year but the possibility that they would become part of our residence program [in the future]," said Peter Mercer, Western's VP-administration. "It is fair to say that we are working towards this possibility."

Mercer said Western is not contemplating purchasing the residence but rather assuming control of its management. This would avoid rooms in the residence remaining empty. "It would be better to make it a part of the system to make sure it's fully used.

"It is difficult for them to market it if they don't have the access to support other residences do," Mercer added.

There have been very friendly discussions recently and both sides want to work towards this, he said. "We're not ready to take it on at this stage. We're planning for a fall entry but I couldn't imagine it until the fall of 2000."

However, Ray Gladwell, executive director for Westminster, said discussions have not proceeded that far. "There was some discussion some time ago to change our working relationship but not along the lines of bringing Westminster under housing and food services – we haven't been authorized by our board [of directors] to get that far," Gladwell said.

Gladwell said he recognized that while there are advantages to standing alone, there are advantages to working more closely as well. "It has a lot to do with making sure we have the same program offered to all students."

Peggy Wakabayashi, director of residences for housing and food services, said there are a lot of things which need to be worked out before something like this might happen. She added she was aware some rooms at Westminster were presently empty. "They have some vacancies they are anxious to get filled. They are concerned about keeping full occupancy especially with the new residence," she said.

Carol Forster, a first-year science student residing at Westminster, said the residence is probably about 100 people short of full capacity but for her this isn't necessarily a bad thing. "I'm not a big crowd person and you get to know faces."

She added although she is in favour of being managed by housing and food services she did not think it would make a big difference. "We're already like the other residences even though we're governed by the United Church."

Gladwell said he will be attending a Westminster retreat on Monday and could foresee negotiations taking place after that. "They are planning ahead and we are too."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999