March 4, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 80  

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News Briefs

College strike narrowly averted
A tentative deal was struck between Ontario’s 24 community colleges and faculty Tuesday evening which avoided, by a few hours, a strike which would have disrupted the school year for thousands of students in the province.

General manager of the College Student Alliance, Frank Cappadocia, explained that the negotiations centred on disputes over workload and salary. “Both sides were fundamentally pretty far apart,” he explained, adding negotiations were on going for four-and-a-half to five months, and had been particularly intense in the past week.

“We’re overjoyed — no one from CSA wanted to see a strike,” he said. “Both sides were committed to trying to address the problems [raised in negotiation].” He explained that a task force has been established to investigate issues of workload.

“[CSA] is fundamentally concerned with students,” Cappadocia explained, adding CSA gathered over 10,000 student signatures on a petition asking for a strike to be avoided.

“The key issue is really the underfunding of the college sector — college students are funded lower than any other province on a per student basis,” he said, expressing the hope this issue can now be properly addressed.

—Laura Katsirdakis

And The Hellmuth goes to...
The Hellmuth Prize, named in honour of Bishop Isaac Hellmuth — widely regarded as the founder of our beloved Western — has just been announced.

The prestigious award recognizes professors whose research exceeds the boundaries of the ordinary and this year’s award will be shared by two recipients, English professor David Bentley and medicine professor Robert Hegele.

Bentley believes his research enables people to look at early Canadian literature differently.

Hegele’s research is geared toward tracking down the genes responsible for families pre-disposed to heart disease, and imparting this knowledge onto others.

Bentley and Hegele will receive their awards at a public ceremony on Thursday, Mar. 18 at 4 p.m., in Conron Hall, University College Rm. 224.

—Erol Özberk

Commissioner Gordon approves
Have you always wanted to be involved with the University Student Council? Well, your time has come.

The USC will make applications for all commissioner positions available this Friday, said Liz Berman, USC communications officer, adding that over 50 positions are available, ranging from Homecoming commissioner to elections commissioner. Positions are open to all students — while experience is an asset, it is not necessary.

Commissioners are responsible for their own portfolios and may be required to assist officers, Berman explained. “Lots of people go from commissioner to officer to vice-president or president. Lots of people do it to build their resumé; lots of people do it because it’s fun,” she said.

“Becoming a commissioner is a good way to get involved. Commissioners are the backbone of the volunteer structure,” Berman added.

She encouraged applicants to talk to current commissioners and VPs to find out more information about specific positions. Applications are available online at or from the USC office in Rm. 340 of the University Community Centre.

—Kelly Gow

USC goes geek
While the cumbersome Add/Drop process remains mired in the paper world, the University Students’ Council has seen that computers are the craze and the wondrous world of the Internet is the future.

Soph applications are now available online, replacing the old time-consuming process of individual meetings and paper forms, said Matt Huether, the USC’s VP-student affairs.

“We’ve made the first step towards unifying online soph applications,” he said, noting that students can apply for the vast majority of soph positions with a single application. “The head sophs have been selected through a traditional paper process.”

The application consists of eight questions that students fill out online at, Huether explained, adding there is no cost associated with submitting one.

So why should students become a soph?

“It’s one of the largest involvement opportunities on campus — and students can be a part of one of the largest orientation programs in North America,” Huether said.

—Anton Vidgen



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