Students say promised graduate payment killed
By Laura Katsirdakis
The faculty of graduate studies has notified some graduate
students that a scholarship guaranteed to those who maintained
a 78 per cent average will not be delivered due to a lack of
funds, although administration would not confirm or deny the
“We received an e-mail that said ‘your nomination
for the winter 2004 [Special University Scholarship] was declined
by the faculty of graduate studies because the budget for this
scholarship has been exhausted’,” said a student,
who, as part of a group of students, wished to remain anonymous.
All of the students received the same e-mail.
The student noted the e-mail was received in late January
past the Jan. 7 deadline for graduate tuition payment.
“We pay $2,000 a term, and we have three terms [in total] — we
only take one class over two years. What are they exhausting
their budget on?” the student asked. “We don’t
know where our tuition is going.”
“We plan our budgets along this scholarship,” the
student said, noting the amount guaranteed by the SUS is $1,000
per term and is given after the students have paid their tuition
upfront. “We believe we should be compensated for that
money, that we shouldn’t pay our tuition.”
“How are they allowing more students into the faculty
when they guaranteed this scholarship [to graduate students]
who maintain a 78 per cent average?” the student asked.
The student did not know how many graduate students were having
the same problem.
The associate dean of graduate students, Anthony Vandervoort,
sent an e-mail to The Gazette, when asked to respond to the
“Of course FGS would not wish to discuss an individual
case due to confidentiality issues, but dean [Martin] Kreiswirth
and I would be happy to meet with you at some time to describe
in general terms graduate student support at [Western], and
the exciting new initiatives taking place at the university,
provincial and federal levels,” the e-mail said.
When told the students had spoken anonymously in a group,
Vandervoort still declined comment. “You can see there’s
a minimum average as criteria for funding students. That is
what I want to point to you,” he said.
When asked to comment on the issue of funding being exhausted
for the SUS, Vandervoort said “that could be true as
well,” but refused further comment.
Western’s acting VP-administration, Jane O’Brien,
declined comment stating she did not know enough about the
situation. Greg Moran, Western VP-academic, also declined comment.
Daryl White, president of the Society of Graduate Students,
said no students had approached him with concerns.