Volume 93, Issue 100

Thursday, April 6, 2000


UBC may adopt differential tuition

Awards to diversify industry

Toronto's code jumps first hurdle

Problems with toxic blob continue to grow

United Way tips hat to Students' Council


Golf courses get jump start

Awards to diversify industry

By Leena Kamat
Gazette Staff

South Asian students aspiring to be journalists will get a helping hand in the near future.

Five new entrance scholarships in the media, information and technoculture program will be offered to students of South Asian origin, said Manjunath Pendakur, dean of the faculty of information and media studies.

The scholarships, worth $2,000 each, will be available in September 2002, Pendakur said, adding the money came from the $200,000 South Asian Student Scholarship endowment fund.

Pendakur said approximately $80,000 of the fund was pledged by 25 South Asian families in the London region. The provincial Access to Opportunities Program matched the pledges and approximately $40,000 came from Foundation Western, Pendakur added. "Basically, this is an incredible, generous contribution by community members."

Dave Ross, spokesperson for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, could only confirm that money was given to Western from ATOP.

"I wanted to help students," said P.C. Shah, a pathologist at Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital, whose family donated $20,000. "If this little magnet attracts students, then at least they will have a possible career when they graduate," Shah said.

Pendakur explained he thought of the idea after he noticed the faculty did not have many South Asian students, even though Western had a diverse student population.

"Look at the media industry in Canada and it is still not diverse," he said, adding there were 5,840 caucasian journalists and about 300 journalists of visible minority in Canada in 1996.

"One way to address this problem is to train good journalists," he said. By offering these entrance scholarships, many South Asian students who might normally turn to "safe" careers like medicine, business and engineering, may be enticed to turn to the media industry, which is usually considered risky, he explained.

Pendakur added he was also approaching South Asian groups in Toronto for contributions, as his initial goal was to have the scholarships be worth $2,500 each.

"We are determined to try to provide the best support to students," said Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic. "We are eager to insure students from various cultures are represented at Western."

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