February 4, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 69  

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News Briefs

Meet your candidates
The first in a series of six student presidential debates will be held today in the University Community Centre atrium, providing students with an opportunity to engage candidates vying for the top job of the University Students’ Council.

All five presidential candidates will attend today’s USC council meeting, which will include a forum devoted to the upcoming election, said Liz Berman, USC communications officer, adding that all the issues presented to the candidates for debate will be brought forward by the audience.

The emphasis on audience participation is to provide spectators with “insight into what each candidate stands for,” Berman explained. She added that even though the forum is during a council meeting, the focus will remain on the students. “Anyone not on the council is encouraged to ask questions,” she said.

Berman reiterated the focus of the debates will be student-based. “We want students [to have] the ability to make an informed decision on election day.”

The USC council forum begins at 5 p.m..

—Alex Bishop

Stained glass that won’t wash away
The Centre for Creativity is sponsoring an exhibition on this Saturday entitled Through a Glass Brightly, featuring stained glass works.

The exhibition will feature the stained glass works of five local artists. Ted Goodden, one of the artists whose works are to be displayed, will also be the keynote speaker for the event.

“This is a celebration of stained glass, both secular and religious, and open to everybody,” said Shirley Bratscher, secretary to the chief librarian at the Centre for Creativity at King’s College. Bratscher added the event will take place at St. Paul’s Cathedral in downtown London.

“St Paul’s is a beautiful location — and they’re going to conduct tours of the church as well, with the artist’s work in another room. St. Paul’s has the largest collection of [stained glass] Tiffany windows in North America,” Bratscher said.

The exhibition doors will open Saturday at 1:30 p.m. with Goodden’s keynote address at approximately 2 p.m. followed by a reception. The event is free of charge and Bratscher encouraged students to attend.

—Katy Pollock

First Nations’ first program
Next year, for the first time in Western’s history, a First Nations studies program will be offered on campus.

Though debated for several years, recent announcements of increased government funding has allowed the faculty of social science to start planning new programs, said Brian Timney, the dean of social science. The funding arrived at the same time that Western was revamping its system to create the New Academic Choices, Timney said adding is was “a good time to bring in First Nations programs”.

Because of the large First Nations population in southwestern Ontario, Western is an ideal location to offer such courses, he remarked. “We can bring in new students and give First Nations a starting point.”

Timney said he hopes the program increases the population of First Nations students at Western and provides non-native students with more information. “It should work in both directions,” he noted.

—Nancy Hanna

Humanities hobnob here
It was recently announced that the biggest conference in the history of Western and London as a whole will be in the neighbourhood from May 28 to Jun. 5, 2005.

The conference, hosted jointly by Western and the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, will incorporate a variety of disciplines, focusing on the broad themes of citizenship, environment, exclusion and equity, said Peter Neary, one of the organizers of the conference and a professor of history at Western.

“[It will bring] an enormous variety of scholarly associations from around the world to campus,” he explained. Among them, the Canadian Historian Association, making “Western and London the focus within Canada and indeed within the world.”

Although many of the meetings will be intended for delegates from CFHSS member associations, the conference is intended to be inclusive, with a variety of events open to the general public, where “important matters of public debate” will be discussed, Neary said. The conference is held yearly at a Canadian university with its location circulating each year.

“We want to be the best”, said Ruth Harland, administrative co-ordinator for the event, when asked about the opportunity presented to Western.

—Alex Wu



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