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Soph bed debate continues
By Erin Conway-Smith
Guaranteed residence beds for sophs was a hot topic Wednesday night at a forum held to discuss a deal currently in the works between the University Students' Council and Western administration.
"A lot of great points were brought up but more importantly, the turnout really showed there are a lot of students from council, residence, and Senate who all think this is an important issue," said Wes Brown, USC VP-student affairs.
Brown said he will compile the issues raised at the meeting and raise them at Wednesday's USC meeting.
"Hopefully we'll have a more concrete, specific stance that can then go on to the [Orientation Planning Committee] and [Orientation Governance Board]," he said.
The current proposal, assembled by USC representatives, residence councils and Western's Housing and Ancillary Services, would guarantee one soph bed per residence floor.
Any other sophs who want to live in residence would have to enter the general residence lottery. Sophs who do not end up with a bed will become off-campus sophs for that particular residence.
"Back in my day, once you were a soph, that was a guaranteed bed," Brown said. This is no longer the case due to increasing first-year enrollment and Western's guarantee of residence beds for all first-year students, he noted.
USC president Mike Lawless agreed the top priority for administration is the guarantee of first-year beds.
"When things happen like what happened this year with triple-room booking it's a huge embarrassment," he said "The last thing the university is going to want to have is a story about how there are extra students without residence rooms."
Students at the meeting expressed concerns about the process that would be used to determine which sophs get beds and which do not.
Other concerns included the responsibilities of sophs living in residence under residence managers and whether or not residence council members necessarily have to be sophs.
Brown said representatives from housing services were invited to the forum, but did not attend.
In the past, housing and ancillary services representatives have said they thought it was a great idea to guarantee beds for sophs and do not understand the confusion.