Volume 93, Issue 94

Tuesday, March 28, 2000


Editorial Board 1999-2000

A reason for praise or pause?

Editorial cartoon

A reason for praise or pause?

Orientation Week will once again be an entire week – but for how long?

Western's Senate approved Friday that the two mandatory days of class involved in Orientation Week – Thursday and Friday – be removed. Classes for the 2000-01 school year will officially begin on the Monday following O-week festivities.

Since the academic days were implemented in the orientation week of 1996, O-week student programmers have argued for them to be removed, citing students did not attend them and faculty did not enjoy teaching them.

So why now?

Why only now has administration sided with the students and given back those two days of programming? Why, after almost scrapping the entire program altogether two years ago, have the powers that be swung full circle and actually added to the week that has been largely blamed as the reason for Western's party image?

It almost seems like a set up for administration to change the move-in day to Saturday, have "orientation" on Sunday and have classes begin Monday. Although this may sound like a doomsday scenario – is it really all that implausible?

That said, the opportunity for the University Students' Council and the Orientation staff has presented itself to finally get O-week set in stone. Formalize it, get something in writing – the time is now for our student leaders to get their political voices heard and settle this issue once and for all.

Orientation week is one of, if not the greatest time of a student's career at Western. It is something that needs to be solidified at this university and only by example will it be placed there.

The Orientation staff for this upcoming school year must rise to the challenge and fill those two extra days with more academically and socially orienting activities. They must show that these two extra days are not only necessary socially, but that they can also be an educational experience for first-year students.

While O-staff does this, the USC must be willing to go to bat for this week, hammer out more concrete details and get something drawn up to ensure the week will never be taken away. This could be the Board of Directors' best opportunity to leave their mark on this institution.

While it is encouraging that Senate recognized the need to move the start of classes to the Monday following Labour Day, students should be cautiously optimistic. Until the length of Orientation Week is is set in stone, its existence is in jeopardy.

With the summer months fast approaching and a large portion of the student body making plans to leave London, now is the time to ensure this formality takes place before the week disappears when there is no one left to fight for it.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000