Volume 93, Issue 83

Wednesday, March 8, 2000


NEWS

Bus might stop for graduate students

McGill gets sued over dismissal

Feds sorry about money mix-up

Council to vote on White Paper position

Border officials get new powers

CBC program sparks a gene therapy debate

Downtown parking a developing concern

Briefs

Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus 1

Caught on campus 2

Caught on campus 3

Council to vote on White Paper position



By John Intini
Gazette Staff

The University Students' Council will decide tonight whether to accept a report – which makes recommendations to the university's White Paper proposal – as their official position.

The USC report, drafted by their academic affairs committee, outlined concerns with the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Admissions' White Paper, which recommended a change to the structure of the university's degree programs. SCAPA's proposal also suggested the creation of a mandatory core set of courses for all students in an attempt to offer a greater educational experience.

"[The USC report] is basically what [the committee] thinks is wrong with the proposal," said VP-education Mark Kissel, who proposed the motion in search of council's support.

The report described the notion of a core program as limiting. It said by increasing the number of compulsory basic-level courses, the program would decrease a student's ability to focus in their main area of interest.

The committee also expressed concern over the way the changes would be funded. Using Western's finest professors to teach these mainly 100 level classes, and taking them away from their senior level courses, was also an issue.

Social sciences council president Paul Hong said he agreed with the concerns over funding and questioned the need for change. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," he said.

He added there are always major problems when big changes are made, citing the school's computer system, PeopleSoft, as an example which he said caused serious transition problems.

Although Michael Rubinoff, president of the legal society, had yet to read the USC's report, he said his experience as a member of the Board of Governors had shown him the student voice was well received by Western's administration and its impact should not be underestimated.

Hong disagreed, however, claiming a council-backed report would not result in any change. He said the only way to get change would be to lobby senators individually. "You can write all the reports you want, but if you don't have votes in the room you can't do anything," he said, adding Senate committees generally receive hundreds of reports and do not have time to look at all of them.

Kissel said he hoped to have the report, backed by council, on the desk of SCAPA's chair John Thorp, first thing tomorrow morning.


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