Re: “Rock is dead they say...” Mar.
To the Editor:
Biology 355b (Adaptations and Ecology of Birds) is not only
an extremely popular specialized course, it is also very
inexpensive to operate. The department of biology already
has an outstanding collection (one of the best in Ontario)
of bird specimens in its museum, so no new material is needed
each year for the lab component. Surely economics cannot
be the reason behind cancelling this class.
The removal of this class reduces the amount of diversity
in the department of biology, which, in our opinion, is already
sorely lacking. Is streamlining departments the wave of the
future at Western? If students are never offered specialized
courses, how are they going to know if ornithology is something
they are truly interested in for graduate research or as a
Does this give the message to prospective students that Western
is only for those wanting to study genetics, microbiology and
medicine? It was Biology 355b that decided the course of our
immediate futures and opened many doors (including jobs) that
would have otherwise remained closed. It goes against what
we feel is one of the most compelling reasons to attend university,
which is the chance to gain knowledge and experience ideas
and concepts at the senior level that only specialized courses
are able to offer.
Many students share our views and have begun to lobby by writing
letters and signing petitions to request the department of
biology continue to offer courses of interest to students.
The department has already decided to cancel Biology 355b for
next year, so what will be the fate of other specialized courses?
Are these next on the chopping block?
Ecology & Evolution IV
To the Editor:
I am writing to formally request that the registrar’s
office remove this statement from its web page: “It is
the principle of Western’s Student Financial Services
Office that no qualified student will be unable to attend or
be required to withdraw from a program at Western for financial
reasons.” This statement is a lie.
I have been denied funding for the last three years. My parents — who
have eight other children, but apparently this doesn’t
count — make too much for me to get an Ontario Student
Assistance Program loan, but not enough for me to have a co-signer
for student loans. This has forced me to work as many as seven
days a week to be able to afford to take two or fewer courses
To add insult to injury, I have yet to have a positive experience
at the registrar’s office on main campus or the business
office at King’s College. I have experienced everything
from verbal abuse to being told that OSAP can’t be expected
to pay for my parent’s mistakes. In one situation, an
individual at King’s sat me down and yelled at me until
I was in tears.
Only after I broke down and “realized the gravity of
my situation” was she willing to discuss my options.
As much as it sucks to take five years to do a three-year degree,
and to miss out on some of the best parts of university, I
accept that my education is very much my responsibility and
I don’t mind paying for it.
The registrar’s office and the government should stop
making it sound like they believe what they say. It’s
misleading and unfair.