Volume 96, Issue 16
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

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New year brings more skin

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

Despite last year's controversy, Western girls and boys will once again be showing off their semi-clad bodies in a sexually suggestive calendar.

Brad Bloch and Adam Luck, second-year honours business administration students at the Richard Ivey School of Business, are resurrecting the "W Boys" and "W Girls" calendars for a second consecutive year, in order to raise money for charity.

The original calendars were an initiative spawned last fall by Lukas Atkins, then a second-year HBA student at Ivey, in order to generate relief aid for the families of New York City firemen after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"I'm glad someone else is taking it on," Atkins said, adding over $40,000 was raised for charity last year.

However, when the calendars hit the stands in the University Community Centre Atrium early last November, they quickly became a controversial item on campus.

Members of Western's Women's Issues Network were especially offended by last year's calendars, and petitioned sponsors of the calendar, sold greeting cards as an alternative method of generating money, and offered samples of hot dogs as an "alternative meat."

According to Bloch, he and Luck studied the calendars as a business case this year and found them to be profitable. They decided to take on the initiative this year as a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.

"Last year, they took a lot of criticism from some women's groups, but, at the same time, did a lot of good," Luck said, adding they hope to improve on the calendar with more relevant advertising and diverse models.

"There was such a big hype last year that we thought it would be something fun to do," Bloch added. "The Cancer Society has been very open to the idea."

According to Jennifer Hesse, fundraising co-ordinator for the Elgin-Middlesex Unit of the Canadian Cancer Society, Bloch and Luck have approached them but there has been no official decision as to whether or not they will accept funding raised from the calendar initiative.

"The USC has no official stance. We neither condone it, nor support," said Nicole Nelson, VP-campus issues for the University Students' Council. "I'm looking forward to the debates that will come out of it."

"It's a fairly unoriginal way to raise money for charity," said WIN co-ordinator Erin McCloskey, noting despite the worthy cause, there is no need to promote sex, especially in an academic community.

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2002 THE GAZETTE