Take the money and run...
Who would have thought a gift of $26 million
to the faculty of medicine and dentistry would have medical
students up in arms?
Last week, Seymour Schulich announced the largest gift in
the history of both Western and the City of London. His donation
is primarily intended to provide financial assistance for medical
students in the form of scholarships.
In exchange for his generous funding — and pending Senate
approval — the school will be renamed the Schulich School
of Medicine and degrees will also bear the Schulich name.
Sounds like a small price to pay for such an enormous donation,
Not according to med students. In a meeting held yesterday,
med students took the opportunity to vent their frustration
at having been “excluded” from the decision to
accept Schulich’s offer.
They are angry because they believe having the Schulich name
on their degrees will essentially devalue the degrees, especially
considering what some students alleged were unethical nature
of some of Schulich’s business practices.
But if that argument is credible, then the medical school
would have to reject donations from almost any wealthy individual
or corporation in existence.
Perhaps these students would enjoy being under-funded — that
is certainly the message they are sending by kicking up a fuss
about Schulich’s donation.
Talk about kicking a gift horse in the mouth.
Schulich’s money is not just going towards a building
or a giant bronze Schulich statue that forces students to remember
his greatness on a daily basis; it is going towards students
and is meant to improve the quality of Western’s faculty
of medicine and dentistry.
Furthermore, the idea that the Schulich name would devalue
medical degrees is ludicrous. Perhaps the “McDonald’s
School of Medicine” or the “Fidel Castro School
of Medicine” would raise eyebrows — and rightfully
so — but the “Schulich School of Medicine” is
no more obtrusive than the “Richard Ivey School of Business.”
These devoted anti-Schulich med students have begun circulating
a petition to garner support for their cause. And what a righteous
cause it is: ensuring that a $26 million donation is poorly
received, or better yet, encouraging Schulich to take it back.
Just think how this reaction might affect potential future
It is fairly clear to anyone outside this group of petitioning
med students that Schulich’s donation is a benefit to
our school. Western was chosen from four prominent Canadian
universities to be the recipient of Schulich’s funding,
but now some of the very students who will benefit from his
generosity are crying foul.
The poor reaction to Schulich’s enormous donation is
not only inexplicable, but an embarrassment.