Editorial Board 2001-2002
The introduction of Western's Student Code of Conduct presents a new, impractical standard for students and in an attempt to enforce the code, the administration has set a precedent that is near impossible to fulfill.
The engineering movie night was the first victim.
"Movie night," a pseudonym for "field-drinking," is traditionally held during Orientation week. This year however, the event was moved to Homecoming weekend to be more accommodating for alumni and administration.
The event, which included a pork roast, corn on the cob and beer, was to be held in the town of Lucan on an enclosed soccer field. All of the appropriate regulations were met, including booking OPP officers, complying with fire and noise codes and notifying Lucan town authorities of the event.
Despite the conscientious planning, the administration pressured the engineering faculty to cancel the event, warning the event may violate certain statutes of the Student Code of Conduct. Administration's main concerns included safety issues, due to the presence of alcohol.
Although Western's new-found concern for students' leisure time is touching, it is ill-founded.
It is not the university's role to enforce the law when engineering students had already made arrangements with police and other authorities. This was a well-organized activity good enough for provincial and federal regulations.
Why then, was it not good enough for Western?
It would appear this may be a direct attack on the faculty of engineering. In the past, engineering pranks have gained the public's attention and, as a result, our dear plumbers may receive a more watchful eye from administration. A warning from administrators would have been appropriate, but cancellation of the party was unnecessary and unjust.
Approximately $5,000 to $6,000 was lost by the Engineering Students' Council because notification of the cancellation was given a mere 48 hours prior to the event.
In addition, the administration left no room for compromise. "No party" meant no party.
This is not a step forward for their shaky relationship, but the engineers' willingness to comply by canceling the event without argument, shows the engineers have more character than the administration.
Engineers chose academics over a party, demonstrating a great deal their intelligence and maturity. Hopefully this latest engineering versus administration conflict will not lead to the petty pranks and retaliation of the past. Presumably, forward-thinking individuals will be able to turn the other cheek.
The precedent set by administration in regards to the engineering movie night will hopefully not continue.
The engineers were singled out by an administration who used the Student Code of Conduct as both an excuse and a threat.
Administration is over-stepping their boundaries. They have no role in students' outside lives and they should stick to leading and thinking, not smoking and drinking.