Volume 93, Issue 47

Tuesday, November 23, 1999


UWO dealt blow by province

TA strike looms at Toronto U

Ad hoc committee fails in close Senate vote

Four year BAs and BScs considered

A week of false alarms and theft

Report reveals funding concern

Caught on campus

Bass Ackwards

Ad hoc committee fails in close Senate vote

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

"Motion fails," were the first words Western president Paul Davenport said after a proposal to establish an ad hoc committee was struck down at Senate Friday by a 28 to 26 vote.

The motion, first raised during October's Senate meeting by former student senator-at-large Michael Lawless, was intended to examine the way four engineering students were penalized for vandalizing several campus residences during Orientation Week.

"I'm disappointed, but it was a good fight," Lawless said. He added, however, a lot of clarification could have been attained if the committee had been approved. "I don't understand what harm could [have] come of this."

Although the motion failed, student senator-at-large Dave Braun said he was glad that at least the possibility was considered. "I think it really raised awareness throughout Senate," he said. "The right changes can be made through another avenue."

Chris Sinal, a Huron College councillor, said he too was disappointed and believed Senate made a poor decision. He explained the academic calendar upon which students are penalized is open to too much interpretation.

Peter Mercer, VP-administration, said he opposed the idea of the committee and added he believed the Board of Governors and Senate shared the responsibilities of governing the university. Establishing the ad hoc committee would have been an unwise decision, he said, as it would divide responsibilities within the university.

Other options exist in dealing with situations where confusion arises over incidents of this kind, Mercer said, similar to a former committee which existed to look at student offences.

Brian Timney, psychology professor and senator, explained a vice-provosts advisory committee on student code of conduct existed a couple of years ago. The committee was intended to look at student violations, similar to the incident involving the four engineering students.

For the last few years, the committee has been inactive, Timney said, however, a set of official policies on conduct are presently being drafted. "This is still in the works. I have a couple of preliminary drafts right now. My plan is to have everything in front of Senate by April."

Timney added this committee would encourage and accept recommendations by any sector of campus before creating a final draft.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999