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Update not done in time
By Mark Brown
Western will not likely complete a mandatory review of its "outdated" race relations policy in time to meet its deadline.
Although the policy states a review must occur five years after the last major revision, Fiona Hart, equity services officer, said she doubts a review will be complete in time to meet the September deadline. The last major revision was made to the policy in September 1994.
Still, Hart said this should not pose a problem for the equity office, since they will continue to work under the old policy until the review is complete.
Hart said she does not have any specific changes she would like to see in the policy. "It is not something I've turned my attention to at this point."
Before determining how the policy needs to be changed, university administration must determine how they plan to review the policy. "We usually don't have a well established procedure to review a policy of this sort," said VP-administration Peter Mercer, adding the policy is a relatively new one to the university. At this point he said it would be premature to comment on how the policy might be changed.
Mercer said once the review process begins, a committee will be established to meet with anyone who wants to discuss the policy, but added he does not expect much of a response. "I don't get the impression that this is high on anyone's agenda."
However, Perry Monaco, University Students' Council VP-campus issues-elect, did not share Mercer's sentiment. "It's high on my agenda," he said. Reviewing the race relations policy was something Monaco campaigned for during his unsucessful bid for USC president.
"It's a policy that needs to be reviewed," Monaco said. He added people assume they are protected by society, but the policy is needed to give the university some sort of mechanism to deal with any complaints which might arise.
"It's out of date. I think it should move towards a broader focus to other forms of discrimination," said Peter Hill, outgoing VP-campus issues. He said he was not sure if modifications would be limited to simple name changes or if a more involved process, such as creating separate policies, would be necessary.
The review process is expected to begin some time in June.