Volume 96, Issue 56
Thursday, January 9, 2003

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Canuck culture embedded on campus

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

University and political leaders were at Western on Tuesday to discuss the importance of being aware of Canadian history and culture.

"I think it's significant that this celebration of our country's history and vibrancy is on our university's campus because universities are the key to preserving the history and culture of our country," said Western President Paul Davenport. "Universities help create and maintain the intellectual history of our country.

"The university community enriches our social context," Davenport said, noting this awareness week gives time to reflect on the freedoms enjoyed as Canadians.

According to Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Dianne Cunningham, Canadians do not celebrate or know enough about their heritage.

She noted the importance of student and university leaders in shaping the ideas of policy makers and thus the future of the country. "The students in our universities have never been more competitive, focussed and involved," she added.

"I'd like to congratulate the [University Students' Council] for this whole idea of celebrating Canadian heritage week," Cunningham said.

"Canada is the best country in the world to live in, to work in and to raise a family," Cunningham said, explaining some of the electoral history of Canada. Politicians are continually revisiting issues that are important to the people of the day, she added.

"You need to have a strong grounding in history to connect with the people around you," said USC President Chris Sinal, noting that, by the end of the year, there will be a Canadian flag erected outside of the University Community Centre.

"I'm really happy. The groups and organizers here are unique and provide different aspects of Canadian history," said USC municipal affairs commissioner and Canadian Awareness Week organizer Lauren Starr.

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2002 THE GAZETTE