From the Far Lane
O-Week ends all blindfolds come off
In a few days, frosh will know what university
life is really like.
Orientation Week festivities will be over
- and although a lot of good, wholesome fun will have been had,
the little knot in each first-year belly that has said "this
is just like camp" all week long will disappear.
The simple fact is this: O-Week organizers,
both at the administration level and among student leaders from
the University Students' Council, have worked to make the week
as morally clean as possible.
Sophs are contractually obligated to abstain
from drinking, but have taken it upon themselves to not even
mention alcohol and many wouldn't even tell a frosh where the
closest beer store is if asked. Some will even take it upon
themselves to "watch out" for frosh as if they were
children and would go as far as breaking up a little flirting
if there was even a hint that a girl being subjected to it had
Administration, obviously, is behind much
of the drive to make Western a veritable Carealot. Once upon
a time, just about everybody could proudly call Saugeen-Maitland
Hall "The Zoo" - but in an effort to dispel a "party
image," administration has worked to quash the term.
Just last year The Gazette Frosh Issue was
pulled from residences (and the copies literally tossed in the
garbage) by Housing officials because of a handful of complaints
about the "questionable" content. The blatant censorship
didn't result in anywhere near the backlash it deserved (although
the remaining copies were quickly picked up by students). Apparently
we escaped the same treatment this year by releasing the issue
after parents had already gone home.
None of this is because administration hates
students (in fact, they probably don't). It has more to do with
money, in two ways.
First, Western wants to avoid lawsuits at
all costs and with the increasing risk of underage drinking
given the younger first-year students, they feel they have to
crack the whip. The second and more annoying reason behind growing
university fascism is administration's concern about losing
donations by angering parents and alumni.
So even though university students are adults,
they're treated like children. The phenomenon is saturated during
O-Week because parents are around, but even more so due to the
culture that has developed among organizers.
The trend towards the bland, politically
correct and child-like atmosphere is pushed by admin and perpetuated
by some student leaders and head sophs. Once O-Week ends, sophs
tend to stop treating frosh like children and the frosh begin
to learn university is a lot less about being babysat and more
like what they expected.