Volume 95, Issue 39

Friday, November 9, 2001
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Social science budget scandal continues

Controversy clouds soph selection

London police continue pursuit of sex stalker

"Let's roll" - Bush attempts to inspire America

Frosh get cash from French knight

Controversy clouds soph selection

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

Controversy surrounding the selection of this year's Social Science Students' Council head soph could lead to changes in the criteria for selecting future faculty sophs.

The decision to select Sarah Brock as head soph was at the discretion of a selection committee, said Wes Brown, University Students' Council VP-campus issues.

Currently, an individual must only be registered as a student at Western to be considered for soph selection, he said.

Brock left Western for Fanshawe College following Orientation week last year, said Jon Santos, the 2000-01 social science head soph and a member of the committee that selected Brock.

Following her time at Fanshawe, she was able to meet the required grounds to be re-accepted into Western, he said.

It was a concern Brock was not in school, Santos said, but added this was weighed against other non-academic factors.

"The people who chose [Brock] obviously knew her history and felt she would still be the best one for the job," Brown said.

Santos said when Brock was chosen head soph, it was recognized that despite her great people skills, she lacked involvement in council activities and had less knowledge of financial considerations.

"We said to her, 'whatever you have an issue with, make sure it's taken care of,'" he said. "For Sarah, we recommended to people in the room that she would need assistance in finance and with the budget."

It was unfortunate that Brock did not get assistance with O-week finances, he added.

Santos said accountability for financial errors made by Brock is not related to the process in which Brock was selected.

"It doesn't affect the selection process," Santos said. "If she didn't ask questions, that's a performance issue, not a selection issue."

Following Brock's selection as head soph, a dozen letters were sent to USC Orientation week officer Stephanie Zonneville expressing concern over the selection process and the decision to make Brock head soph.

Sametta Cole, a fourth-year honours sociology student who ran for the head soph position opposite Brock, was one of the 12 letter-writers and stressed the academic role of faculty sophs.

"There is a need to review the selection process," she said.

There is more to being a head soph than wanting to demonstrate school spirit, Cole added.

Brock is believed to have left London for British Columbia and repeated attempts to contact her by The Gazette have proved unsuccessful.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001