November 4, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 36  

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Howard Hughes, eat your heart out
Even if the sight of a huge needle makes you scream aloud, satisfy your internal hypochondriac and reduce the risk of contracting scary bacteria that could possibly kill you.

Students interested in getting vaccinated against meningitis will have the chance to do so on Nov. 12 and 16 at Somerville House in The Great Hall, said Kirsten Mansworth, a spokesperson for Fleishman-Hillard, a communications company promoting the vaccinations.

"University and college students are especially vulnerable to contracting meningitis due to crowded dormitories and bar patronage," Mansworth said. "Students are encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves from this potentially deadly disease."

The vaccine will protect students for up to five years against meningococcal diseases, which can lead to meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain. Permanent disability, amputations and death can result in more serious cases. "Meningitis is a serious and sometimes fatal infection," Mansworth said.

The cost to students for the vaccine is $90 and is not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), she added.

How write to good
Habla Espanol? Parlez Francis? Parla Italiano? If you answered the equivalent of "yes" in your native language, then perhaps these courses are for you.

The Student Development Centre is offering a set of English language support programs designed to improve students' reading, writing and speaking skills, said Brent Scott, a staff member at the SDC.

"I think there's a need for these programs and I would definitely encourage anyone who's interested to come in and find out more about them," Scott said. "I think some students come to Western not fully prepared and I think these programs fulfill that need."

Scott said the SDC has seen an increase in the number of clients whose first language is not English.

Each 10-week course costs $100 plus tax and additional purchases - such as a textbook - may be required, Scott said.

"Western is committed not only to increasing the presence of international students on campus, but also to ensuring their involvement here is successful and rewarding," said SDC director Gail Hutchinson in a statement. "SDC's English Language Support Program courses are an exciting and promising way of achieving this goal."

-Anton Vidgen



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