Volume 94, Issue 88

Thursday, March 8, 2001


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

First-year student caucus report misunderstands newcomers' concerns

Re: First-year report gives fresh look at students, Mar. 2.

To the Editor:

I recently had the opportunity to review the First-Year Students Caucus Report, which was submitted to council, Feb. 28, 2001.

As a first-year student living in Medway-Sydenham Hall, I must admit that I was excited to hear a report was being compiled that addressed the concerns of first-year students. I felt this would be the one chance where the needs of all first-year students could be publicly addressed and necessary changes could be implemented.

However, my hopes were quickly diminished after reading the introduction written by the report's Editor-In-Chief, Carolynne Weir. Her generalization of all first-year students who were not familiar with the first-year caucus was gravely incorrect.

Until this report was submitted to council, I must admit I had not heard of the first-year caucus. However, this does not in any way mean that I did not care, or that I disassociated myself from the University Students' Council.

On the contrary, I have been very interested in the USC throughout the year and even ran in the recent elections. Her misconceptions of first-year students I think are insulting, and I do not appreciate them.

As well, I thought many of the problems listed within the report had vague recommendations or blatantly wrong information. Specifically, I found the section on Orientation Week to be an inaccurate characterization of the feelings of first-year students.

I was also disappointed with Weir's comments on involuntary donations through the student endowment fund to the USC. Had she done any research at all, she would have found that this money is given to administration for the sole purpose of bursaries.

The money that every student gives to this fund is used to help students, who without this assistance, possibly would not be able to attend this wonderful institution. Please keep that in mind the next year when you think about opting-out.

Next time, instead of attempting to make the USC look like a band of robbers who steal all your money, make sure to find out where that money is going.

Lastly, I would like to point out my dismay in the editing job of this report. After all, the job of the Editor-In-Chief is rather self-explanatory.

How could you honestly expect the USC to take this report seriously when there are endless spelling and grammatical errors. Yes, your intentions were great and I commend you for that.

Although this was not submitted to a professor to be graded, it needed to be revised before it was presented to council. These steps would help ensure it was taken seriously as a formal document from which changes could be made.

I hope the USC recognizes there are issues that matter to first-year students which need to be addressed, thus making the transition easier to Western for first-year students.

Cierra Watson
Social Science I
Social Science Councillor-elect 2001

My "e-leash" did me well - Reader was saved by the cell

Re: Tales from a cell shocked columnist, Mar. 6.

To the Editor:

Well, once again a member of The Gazette Opinions staff has totally missed the point.

Sure, I want to slaughter someone when their phone rings during a movie, or in the middle of class. (I once heard a phone ring as I wrote a midterm.) However, cellular phones have many uses.

That night, exams were cancelled, I put my car in the ditch after driving through 15 minutes of freezing rain. Because of my cellular phone, I was able to call for help. I think every commuter should have one for just such a purpose.

I know students who only have a cellular phone, and no "land line" at home. With the price having come down in recent years, it's just as cheap as having a phone at home and it's always with you. People call you to talk to you; not to talk to an answering machine.

As long as people use them responsibly, cellular phones are great.

Brent Newman
Engineering III

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