Note to parents: this ain’t the fuckin’ Ritz
By Marshall Bellamy
“ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A NAKED MASTURBATOR,
AND HE ROAMED THE GROUNDS OF WESTERN... ” Parents
have became a new force, trying to protect their children
from the many evils of Western’s rough and scary
campus. Wait, is Western rough and scary?
It’s the time of year when prospective students begin
touring universities, checking out their residences, sampling
the campus fare and putting up with their anxious parents.
Susan Rodgers, a professor with the faculty of education and
former co-ordinator of leadership and membership programming
for the Centre for New Students, said that she has noticed
students’ parents are becoming increasingly active in
their children’s affairs. “It seems to be more
“I get the idea you get a mix of people — there’s
going to be some in the middle who are confident with their
children,” she noted. “I think we do influence
the ones in the middle, [but] I’m not so sure about the
ones who are coming with their parents.”
According to Rodgers, there are parents who call and ask for
their children’s marks; some even ask if orange juice
can be brought to them when they are sick, and there have been
requests for room service and wake-up calls in the residences.
“We’re not a hotel,” said Susan Grindrod,
associate VP-housing and ancillary services. “We don’t
have a concierge and I don’t think we should.”
Grindrod explained that housing has attempted to keep parents
informed of what happens to students, noting the key is to
keep everything open for the students’ parents. “We
certainly have more supports in place — I think they
feel more at ease.”
“Parents are being more careful with their kids,” said
Marlies Newton, of the Thames Valley District School Board
and a psychology professor at Western, adding parents do not
seem to remember their experiences in university.
“[Parents should] think about themselves at the same
age — they have to realize their children are competent
people,” she said.
“I don’t worry about my kids,” said Violetta
Martinez, a mother of two sons attending the University of
Waterloo and Carleton University. “They’re all
grown up now and there’s nothing I could do anyway.”
“If I don’t hear from them, then I worry about
them, but more so that they have forgotten about me,” she
“We’re supposed to be growing up, not suckling
on the proverbial teat of Western,” said third-year history
student Andrew Clark.
“C’mon. Leave us alone — we’re in
university now,” said first-year science student Jeff
Gontovnick, a resident of Saugeen-Maitland Hall.