September 25, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 16  

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Long awaited Orientation Week report finally released

By Anton Vidgen
Gazette Staff

The long awaited overhaul of Western's Orientation Week finally started to take shape yesterday as a list of recommendations revamping its structure and programming was presented to the University Students' Council at last night's meeting.

The most significant recommendation of the Orientation Strategic Planning Group report involved solidifying and clearly delineating the O-Week governance structure, a previously neglected aspect which had plagued recent O-Weeks, said USC VP-student affairs Matt Huether.

"If [the governance structure] functions efficiently and quickly, the week will run much more smoothly," Huether said.

As the penultimate decision-making body, the Orientation Governance Board will remain in charge of co-ordinating and providing direction for O-Week by following the OSPG recommendations. The university Provost however, can still deny final approval though this has only happened a few times in the '90s .

"The OSPG expressed a need for all participants to understand the goals," said USC President Paul Yeoman, adding this was to maximize first-year participation and co-operation between administration and the USC during O-Week.

Huether said the OGB will operate on good faith given they have already agreed on the OSPG recommendations. He also said those affected by the report have responded overwhelmingly in favour. "It's far exceeded what the sponsors hoped to accomplish."

Huether said 60 per cent of the recommendations are already complete or in progress. "I think from this point on it's all action," he said.

Recommendations from the OSPG include:

- tying the price of the Orientation kit to the price index level while simultaneously decreasing merchandising costs by removing items such as the USC T-shirt.
- eliminating the info and charity soph teams and shifting responsibility to "regular" sophs.
- pushing classes back to the following Monday.
- revising the total number of sophs according to how many are actually needed.
- capping basic soph uniform costs at $110 and reducing other soph fees
- standardizing soph selection and training.
- soliciting feedback from sophs and first year students through surveys and actually implementing the feedback.



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