Volume 96, Issue 6
Friday September 6, 2002

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Banned from Disneyland

Slacktose Intolerant
Chris Lackner


There exists a magical land – an academic utopia, where angelic first-year students walk around clothed in white, holding hands and singing kumbaya. When they're not too busy washing one another's mouths out with soap for cussing, they like to skip rope, fly kites and drink soda pop down at the corner store.

Ah yes, the magical world of Western's Housing and Ancillary Services.

Next stop, the real world...

Sex – the last time I checked, a lot of people were having it (I do frequent polls). Drugs – they play at least a minor role in most people's university experience, whether as a user or simply as part of the surrounding environment. Alcohol – believe it or not, many students like to have the occasional drink (I hear some are even prone to having – gasp – two or even three).

These three habits are irrevocably linked to university culture, along with academics, residences, clubs and the numerous other aspects of campus life.

In The Gazette's Frosh Issue, our staff put their time and effort into putting out a special issue that would be entertaining, informative and satirical. In a tongue and cheek fashion, a few of our articles reflected on sex, alcohol and drugs at university.

The result? Our Frosh Issue was pulled from residence stands by the good people at Housing.

According to "the powers that be," our issue directly contrasted with Western's vision and values (the ones the university attempts to portray), and was an attack upon the foundation of morals and integrity the university attempts to cultivate during Orientation Week.

Wake up mighty powers: Western is not Disneyland and frosh were not born yesterday.

Understandably, it is in the administration's best interest to wage a public relations campaign that paints Western as a Leave It To Beaver university – that's their selling point to parents and the community. However, banning our Frosh Issue for light-hearted commentary on the birds, bees and magical mushrooms is borderline delusional.

Fact: since our Frosh Issue hit campus four days ago, Western hasn't turned into downtown Detroit.

There weren't drunken frosh staggering around, running into walls and screaming "The Gazette was right, alcohol rules! Give us more of the Devil's brew!" There weren't people having public sex on the Concrete Beach, snorting lines of cocaine off each other's stomachs in between bouts of lust.

Another accusation levelled our way by Housing and Ancillary Services is that The Gazette is out of touch with students.

The Frosh Issue has a long tradition at Western, fuelled in sarcasm and off-the-wall humour. During our regular news editions, we attempt a wide variety of coverage to appeal to a large cross-section of the student community.

I find hard to believe that a staff of 22 editors from all walks of student life and our large student volunteer staff are more out of touch with our peers than a bureaucrat within the university's administration.

Students have a wide variety of lifestyles, habits and experiences. Pretending some of them don't exist doesn't mean they aren't there.

In the end, despite the fantasies of some, Western is not an innocent utopia – but we sure are a hell of a lot more interesting.

Hey, readers! We want to hear what you thought about our recent Frosh Issue.

Do you think Housing made the right decision to take the Frosh Issue off the stands?

We want to hear your opinion. E-mail us at gazette.opinions@uwo.ca.


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