Volume 95, Issue 97

Tuesday, April 9, 2002
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From a war zone to Western

Inmates restless over website

New condoms of no use at "new" Brescia

New MIT dean no Dean Martin

Publication Notice:

Inmates restless over website

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

A group of Saugeen students are claiming their rights were transgressed when they were recently asked to take down a website that featured content relating to their residence floor.

[Name withheld by request], a first-year resident of three lower in Saugeen-Maitland Hall, said he has removed www.3lower.com following a meeting Saturday arranged by residence manager Michelle Verbrugghe.

[Name withheld by request] said the meeting was held because of a comic on the website about a character named "Ronoc."

He said he was approached two weeks ago by Residence Advisor Conor Jinkinson, who was concerned the character was intended to portray him and felt the comic was a form of harassment.

Following Jinkinson's complaints, the comics were taken down temporarily before being put back up, accompanied by a disclaimer that stated the character was fictional and not intended to insult anyone.

Jinkinson declined comment on the situation.

[Name withheld by request] said he felt pressured to remove the website at the meeting, which was between Verbrugghe, Jinkinson and a representative from computer services.

"The approach they took was three-on-one," he said. "They made it clear to me that Western has departments that can deal with this situation and they would follow through to the full extent."

Verbrugghe could not be reached for comment.

[Name withheld by request] said while he was not threatened at the meeting, he was concerned by what would happen if he did not comply.

The website, which is not hosted on Western's server, was developed in October by a group of seven students from three lower. [Name withheld by request] said it was kept updated regularly and featured submissions from people on the floor.

[Name withheld by request] said he was told by Verbrugghe at the meeting that the website was breaking up the community spirit of his floor.

He said he had received only positive feedback about the site until recently.

Jim Dunkin, manager of computer services for Western's Housing and Ancillary Services, said there are a number of things on the website that might be an issue, but did not want to comment further.

"There is a [disciplinary] investigation under way," he said.

–with files from Emmett Macfarlane

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Copyright The Gazette 2002