Instead of tackling a big issue today, I want to touch base on a couple of smaller ones.
I want to thank all the students who got back to me about the whole "logo issue". Apparently another student publication on campus whose name rhymes with Corvette criticized the new logo, commenting on the astronomical costs associated with changing the logo, and critiquing the quality of the logo and itsí "oval" nature. I found the comments quite humorous, considering they came from a publication that INSISTS on changing their logo EVERY YEAR, and that has on several occasions used attractive graphics of an oval or elliptical shape. Iím only being facetious, but I wanted to set the record straight. I for one am not a big fan of the current logo. I feel that the current USC logo looks very poor when condensed, it is dated, unclear, and not very "sexy". So, being the president and all, I had my executive explore the option of changing the logo. We had Inprint (formally Unigraphics) design up with a few logos, we picked one, and we were going to bring it to council. I really didnít expect the uproar, and I sincerely think that the costs in changing the logo would be minimal. So the story ends by saying that the logo topic is being postponed indefinitely until a committee determines itsí destiny.
Another topic receiving a lot of attention is Student Health Services (SHS). I want to reaffirm my position on this particular topic. I strongly believe that SHS is important, and I believe the quality of service at SHS is excellent. I am not interested in closing down the service, and I do not believe that I am being malicious or negligent. As the chair of the Student Services Committee, I have to review all of the various ancillary fees that Western students pay. After all the materials I have seen to date, I am still not confident the amount of fee that SHS charges is justified. I think some serious questions still have to be answered by the Ministry of Health, and I believe that those questions should be based on financial and ethical considerations, and not political ones. Do I support SHS? Yes. Can I tell you how much the SHS fee should be? No.
While I still have the microphone I want to talk about another issue. The Part-Time and Mature Student Association (PTMSA) and the USC seem to be in a minor tiff. I do not want the situation to get ugly, and I want to sit down and find solutions that will work. I just want to clarify my position. I do not think that the PTMSA should have unique or separate representation at this university. It would be irresponsible of me to allow the PTMSA to receive special treatment, because it would be unfair to the other student groups on campus. Yes, issues that affect mature students are important - but so are issues that affect black students, or disabled students, or gay students. Yes, issues facing part-time students are important, but they are not diametrically different from the issues facing full-time students, and when students sit down at the table, they do not warrant having special or double representation. I think the USC can improve the way it tackles issues affecting mature and part-time students, and we are going to look into ways to make things better.
Before I leave, I want to talk about something fun and encouraging - and that is the student survey and opinion poll. It was something in my campaign platform, and I am excited about implementing it next week. During the Senate and Board of Governors elections on the 22nd and the 23rd, we will have a survey that you can fill out. The survey will help us gauge your opinion on a broad array of topics, and will help determine areas for us to focus on. Please take the time to fill it out. Okay, so it may not be that much "fun", but it is certainly encouraging.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and have an even better Homecoming.
| Return to the President's Address |