March 16, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 86  

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Note to parents: this ain’t the fuckin’ Ritz

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff
Dallas Curow/Gazette
“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 common now.

“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 added.

“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.



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