Volume 96, Issue 14
Friday, September 20, 2002

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Communities built without Noah

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

A new university task force will be looking into ways to reform faculties and build a strong academic community.

The recently formed President's Academic Communities Task Force is seeking to discover the key to building strong academic communities, said University Students' Council President Chris Sinal.

"The kinds of communities that are most beneficial are academic communities," Sinal said, adding the task force will investigate various community atmospheres around Western to determine the key factors behind strong academic connections.

According to Erin McCloskey, chair of the PAC Task Force and USC science councillor, the task force will consist of deans, senior administrative members, faculty members and students.

The task force will begin by studying aspects of the faculties of media, information and technoculture and health science, as well as King's College, by conducting interviews with administration, faculty and students, McCloskey explained.

She noted the recommendations of the task force will then first be applied to the faculty of social science.

"It's going to be an action plan with things that faculties can do in the next year and within their budget," McCloskey said.

"I think anything that can foster a better sense of community is beneficial," said Brian Timney, dean of social science. "I hope the task force can come and give us more suggestions."

Timney said the social science faculty is making attempts to improve the community atmosphere with new student lounges in the Social Science Building and future plans for laptop Internet access.

"I think it'll give us a good opportunity to see how other faculties and parts of the university work. It will be very beneficial," said Lindsay Michael, Social Science Students' Council president.

Michael said it is very difficult to create a strong community in such a large faculty as social science, adding she hopes the new initiatives will improve the situation.

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2002 THE GAZETTE