Volume 94, Issue 1

Friday, May 12, 2000


NEWS

O-week survives the Senate intact

Western grads make top 40

Teachers flunk budget

The battle for books rages on

Western escapes virus' tough love

Pot party ready to take the next step

The coolest way to kill insects

Briefs

Media centre links UWO to Fanshawe

Faculty and admin dispute sees new light

O-week survives the Senate intact

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

After weeks of discussion and debate, Orientation week emerged from the latest Senate meeting virtually unscathed.

Senate voted to restore the 2000-2001 academic year to the schedule followed by last year's academic calendar at their April 14 meeting, said John Thorp, chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Policy and Admissions.

According to that calendar, classes will commence on Thursday, September 7, 2000. This outcome reversed an earlier decision by Senate to approve proposed changes made by SCAPA, which would have seen classes eliminated on the Thursday and Friday following Labour Day.

"One of the views held in SCAPA was that it was silly to start classes on Thursday and Friday," Thorp said, but added regulations concerning working hours, conference week and religious holidays also had to be considered when setting the academic schedule.

He said many of his colleagues were split on whether or not classes should be held on the Thursday and Friday instead of starting on a Monday. "Some felt it was better to have 12 crisp weeks, than 12 weeks and some scraggly bits, while others preferred the extra two days."

Thorp said he felt a permanent agreement concerning the scheduling of O-week would be difficult to finalize. "There are so many competing opinions and emotions that it will be difficult to come to an agreement," he said. "Though there may be the likelihood that people will see how complicated [the process of scheduling] is and leave things as they are."

Western's VP-administration, Peter Mercer, said he was pleased with the current scheduling. "We think O-week is working fine," he said. Mercer added the double cohort and a younger incoming class may require certain orientation procedures to be reviewed but the current schedule should stay intact.

University Students' Council VP-student affairs, Chris Sinal, said he was very happy with the scheduling of O-week approved by Senate. "We were just looking for a solution," he said. "This is good for both administration and us."

Sinal added he hoped the recent decision would lead to a more permanent state of affairs. "We can't keep hitting these problems each year. I'm hoping that this will act as a catalyst to working towards long term goals."

Tim Shorthill, USC Orientation Commissioner, said he was relieved upon hearing the Senate's decision. Shorthill said his first priority is to focus on this coming September's Orientation week, but he does hope to work towards establishing a permanent model with administration. "I'd like to sit down with administration before O-week and definitely afterwards [to discuss the future of O-week]."


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Copyright The Gazette 2000