This is why Western's hot

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Some say Western students think they are better than everyone else and attend the best school in the country. Well, the first point is debatable, but at least there is more proof for the second.

According to The Globe and Mail’s ‘University Report Card 2007,’ “Western stands out among the country’s largest universities for its ability to foster a sense of community and spirit on campus.”

In partnership with The Strategic Counsel and the Educational Policy Institute, the survey had 43,000 students from 53 Canadian universities evaluate their schools based on categories such as quality of education, quality of teaching, campus atmosphere, student services, and course varieties.

This was the largest sample group in the survey’s six-year history, and Western finished on top among the large-enrollment universities in 13 out of 19 categories.

Such a victory begs the question: why does Western rank so highly?

University Students’ Council President Tom Stevenson offered an explanation.

“Where do I start? We could start with the 13 of 19 categories we ranked first in. What makes us so phenomenal is that we mix a large institution that is research based, but also have our own community with phenomenal social opportunities.

“I think its an overarching sense of teamwork, and of shared vision, it’s something that the university takes pride in … the cross campus focus of having a shared vision creates a teamwork atmosphere, and when you have that, it’s hard to lose.”

Despite high grades across the board, Western still has flaws. Western received sixth place out of 16 with a B+ in the category of ‘ease of registration.’

Though an acceptable grade, Glen Tigert, associate registrar offers an explanation. “The old system wasn’t overly intuitive.”

Tigert is confident in the recent improvements made to the system.

“We’ve talked for a number of years about pre-registration. That’s still something were working towards to allow students to register before they leave in the summer.”

The report also took Western’s reputation as a party school into consideration. Once again, Stevenson shed light on the school’s dark past. “We definitely had a rep as a party school, and that was the mandate of the university in the ‘90s, and we’ve since tried to get rid of that. We are an academic institution, but the liveliness of our institution makes for a social atmosphere.”

Jonny Ennis, a second-year science student, was reluctant to respond.

“It’s hard to say, I’ve never been to another school, let alone another school’s party. That being said, I’ve heard this claim before. Most schools can be seen as ‘party schools’ because alcohol is the drink of choice for idiots everywhere.”

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