Volume 96, Issue 6
Friday September 6, 2002

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Faculty sophs restricted from residences

By Chris Webden
Gazette Staff


Faculty sophs were left out in the cold this Orientation Week, as over half of them were forced to spend time sitting on residence doorsteps.

According to this year's Orientation Officer Chris Lunn, the decision by Western's Housing and Ancillary Services to limit the number of faculty sophs permitted to enter residence buildings to one per floor, came as a surprise.

"It was sprung on us at the last minute – it was a real shock," Lunn said.

With over 250 faculty sophs and only 108 floors on campus, at least 142 sophs were left without assigned first-years on a daily basis, he explained.

By rotating on an odd and even day system, Orientation Staff were able to involve more sophs by having a different set in the residences every other day, Lunn explained.

"The real problem is with small buildings like Westminster [Residence], which only has six floors. [This leaves] one of seven faculties not represented at all," Lunn added.

Bob Gough, associate director of residences, said head sophs had been asked to submit proposals justifying the number of sophs needed to run activities last March.

"When we didn't hear from them, I had to make a decision," Gough said.

Lunn said faculty head sophs submitted proposals to Housing explaining their benefit to residence life, but noted it is impossible to anticipate exactly how many faculty sophs will be needed at each residence on a daily basis.

Gough said due to a few incidents that occurred during last year's Orientation Week, the number of sophs in residences needed to be examined.

"We need and value faculty sophs, but for reasons of security we had to set a limit on how many were in the residence buildings," Gough said.

Lunn explained that the security of first-year students has actually decreased.

"There are just not enough sophs around [the residences] to meet my safety concerns," Lunn said.

Another concern of Orientation Staff is that first-year students are not receiving the full benefit of Orientation Week because of the limits on faculty soph representation.

"The reason we have faculty sophs is to befriend the frosh and show them the ropes as far as their faculty and classes are concerned, but they can't do this if they can't see them," Lunn said.

Jordan Gracey, a second-year MIT soph, said many sophs feel a lot less important.

"I got to know my faculty sophs really well in first-year and now I don't get to return that favour at all," Gracey said. "I feel like I have to fight just to spend time with frosh and do the job I signed up for."

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2002 THE GAZETTE