September 26, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 17  

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Coursepacks under attack, Jack

Give it to her straight
Lori Mastronardi

A&E Editor

Apparently, since the first month of school is nearly over, I should have a strong hold of what's going on in my classes. I've purchased all my overpriced reading material, I've obtained the all-knowing course outlines and I should be through most of the required readings for the first few weeks, right?

However, something is holding me back. Embarking on my third year at Western, I've noticed a rather common, unappreciated theme among my classes - the use of evil, evil course packs.

While on campus, I'm already surrounded by perfectly good reasons to stray from my homework: three campus bars, at least a dozen coffee stops and the University Community Centre mall. Therefore, it takes a lot of energy to convince myself maybe I should submerge myself in some quality reading.

Right. Maybe if all my readings this semester consisted of more than a seemingly en

dless pile of photocopied pages, I'd be on top of things. But to my luck, I'm left with compilations of theoretical essays bound together by the same bland, colourless pages. To spice things up, the font is generally just small enough so I can only read if I squint my eyes.

Perhaps all my professors joined forces to detract me from my readings. Or maybe this is part of the whole weeding out process of university. After securing tuition payments, students will drop out based on pure boredom.

Although I must admit, what's worse than these neatly compiled course packs are the scattered readings available "on reserve" at the Weldon Library. Entitled to a mere two hour time slot, forced to stay within the confines of the stagnant library air, most students just end up going through the trouble of photocopying all the readings themselves, an expensive and a cumbersome process.

I understand a course pack allows a diverse range of articles and views from which to study. But please, just give me a textbook so I feel like I'm making a bit of progress or simply slap a picture of 50 Cent on the cover.



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