Volume 96, Issue 11
Tuesday September 17, 2002

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Advertising in UCC
Politicos ink corporate deal

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

Corporate advertising at Western is going to be appearing in a new and more obvious package in the University Community Centre within the next month.

According to Michael Rudd, VP-finance for the University Students' Council, Telesmart Media Group will be erecting advertising kiosks in the lower level of the UCC. The kiosks will consist of automated banking machines surrounded by boards filled with advertising squares.

"There has to be a balance between corporate presence and education," Rudd said, adding the USC Board of Directors did not want year-round corporate presence in the UCC atrium.

The proposal was brought to the USC board by Telesmart early last summer and the contract was officially signed last week, Rudd said.

Rudd noted the kiosks will provide service for students with accounts at CIBC and TD Canada Trust, charging less than if they were to use any other bank machine in the UCC.

The revenue from the kiosks will amount to $20,000 a year, $5,000 of which will be used as a scholarship for students, Rudd said, noting the details for the scholarship have yet to be finalized.

According to Rudd, the long-term plan is to be in a position to reduce student and ancillary fees for students.

"The Board of Directors had to weigh the students' concerns over advertising with the capitalization of our university campus," said USC President Chris Sinal, adding he felt the kiosks struck a good balance between the two issues.

Rudd noted the importance of the USC's first right of refusal on advertising, noting any contentious advertising can be denied. "We have to maintain a student voice," Rudd said.

According to Rudd, there is a large amount of advertising rejected every year by the USC.

"There's a large conscience on the board to avoid a corporate feel on campus," Rudd said, noting the final details as to the exact location of the kiosks has yet to be determined. He said he expects they will be in place within the next month.

Ceilidh Gibb, a fourth-year honours English student, noted it is difficult to take sides on the advertising debate.

"It's a catch-22. On one hand, money coming in is a good thing, but on the other hand, it is an educational institution," Gibb said.

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2002 THE GAZETTE