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In the city
Jungle yearbook mauls council
By Christina Vardanis
While this year's Saugeen-Maitland Hall yearbook captures memories of the past school year, it has also put a halt to future memories for students sitting on Saugeen's residents' council.
As a result of the yearbook's content, which violated guidelines set by university administration, the 56-member council has been dissolved.
"The document that was produced was unacceptable," said VP-administration Peter Mercer, who spoke to Saugeen's council last October as well as throughout the year about his concerns with the residence's partying image. "It contained images we do not want associated with the university."
Restrictions for the yearbook, entitled The Jungle Book, were set early in the school year when the residents' council asked for specific guidelines regarding the almanac.
Jay Squires, Saugeen's former residents' council president said some of the images which violated the agreement included pictures of students passed out, the use of profanities and reference to Saugeen's "zoo" reputation. He added while he was aware of the limitations, he did not see a copy of the book before it went to print.
Susan Grindrod, senior director of housing and ancillary services said councils in the past have provided strong leadership and the decision did not have to do with Saugeen's past association with an alcohol-related image.
"This was a tremendous breach of our understanding," Grindrod said. "The students deserve better." She added council members would be notified today by mail of the council's dissolution.
"Often [Saugeen's] reputation is overblown," Mercer said. "We wouldn't have reacted differently to any other residents' council. This residents' council could not continue in our view."
Three consequences of this decision which University Students' Council President SzeJack Tan said needed to be examined are room availability for upper year students, orientation week events and residence representation in general. He added he was a little disappointed with the decision. "They're capable of doing a lot of good for the students," Tan said. "I'd hate to see the first-year experience suffer because of this."
Squires shared Tan's concerns and said he was disappointed the residents' council, which had a lot of returning members, would not have a chance to implement their ideas.
"We're here first and foremost for orientation," he said. "They're not recognizing the good we've done in the building."
However, Grindrod said plans will be worked on over the summer to make sure the residence's voice is not lost. "Lots of students will step forward to fill the gap," she said.