Volume 93, Issue 41

Thursday, November 11, 1999


Editorial Board 1999-2000

Council is too little, too late

Editorial cartoon

Council is too little, too late

It's a given that when dealing with large amounts of people, delays will occur. This evil which plagues almost every procedure known to humankind has been socially accepted in today's culture – a necessary, though aggravating hurdle which will inevitably slow any kind of business procedure.

Western is no exception, nor should it be. The number of students and faculty involved in this institution require systems which unfortunately, do not always accomplish things in the most efficient manner.

When these types of delays amount to missed coffee breaks or an extra 15 minutes in lineups, they are excusable. When they amount one of the campus' largest residences not having representation for the first half of the year, they are not.

When Saugeen-Maitland Hall's residents' council was disbanded in the spring, only the members of the dissolved council seemed worried about the fate of its first-year students. Administration insisted the residence would get some form of representation, just not in the usual council format. Last week, two proposals came forward which outlined procedures to form a new residents' council.

Last week. It's November. Apparently, it took close to six months to get to the proposal stage.

There's no denying forming a new council in the wake of a disbanded one is a tedious process. The amount of work it would entail is sufficient enough to warrant a delay, especially if the problems with the old council are being addressed. However, six months rings more of bureaucratic laziness than a delay.

It should not have been a shock to anyone that the campus' largest residence would need a council. Assuming they could do without one for a while was a blind assumption at best. Forming a new residents' council should have been the first priority for everyone involved. It is an issue which should have been pushed to the forefront, especially if there was even a hint of the amount of work it apparently takes.

But who's priority was it? Administration disbanded the council in the first place, but was it their responsibility to form a new one? What about the University Students' Council? Since a large amount of students were being affected, shouldn't they have stepped in more forcefully? And then there's the members of the dissolved council. If they were so concerned for the students when they learned of administration's actions, why didn't they help out and start the wheels turning?

The answer is all of the above. When the smoke surrounding the disbandment cleared, students were the ones left suffering. This is reason enough for all corners of campus to band together and remedy the situation.

If administration, students and the USC made this situation the priority it should have been and joined forces, Saugeen would already have a new council in place.

To Contact The Editorial Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999