PRAVDA - Address from the President

January 20, 1997.

MCMXCVII. Wow - It’s hard to believe that it’s 1997 already. The class of MM are entering their second semester, people are flooding campus rec. to fulfill lofty new years’ resolutions, and thousands of Western students are promising to do better in their "b" & "G" courses than those pesky "a" and "F" ones.

WHO KNOWS what the year will have in store for students. What will be hot, or not? Will something be wired, or tired? Is it rad, or a passing fad? Will it soar, or is it a bore? Is it cool, or will it make you a fool? Will it past the test of time, or is it just a stupid rhyme? I am going to go out on a limb and pick out two things that I think are going to be popular this year: Those Magnum PI type Hawaiian shirts, and ... the Internet.

I KNOW what you’re thinking ... the Internet? Please. It’s just a passing fad - like clear Pepsi and the Rubik’s cube. Computers themselves are just a flash in the pan. Any day now people are going to stop using those annoying little toys. Perhaps you’re right. After all, the so called "experts" are on your side. But I just can’t deny this feeling I have. Call it a hunch, but I think the Internet is going to do well. Maybe not as well as Hawaiian shirts, but sometimes you just can’t compete with fashion.

IF MY HUNCH IS RIGHT, then how will student life be affected? After showing a friend of mine the Gazette and Horovitz on-line, he simply replied "Great... now I don’t have any reason to go to class." We’re not exactly shutting down the school, but we would be nave to expect that things won’t change.

THE USC WEBSITE was introduced in August, which means that it’s still in its’ infancy. We’re learning, we’re growing, and in many circumstances, we can’t work fast enough. The philosophy behind the USC site is simple: we want it to be the warehouse of student activity on campus. In addition to the USC’s Corporate and Council activities, there will be links to all of the student clubs, groups , and Councils on campus. Ideally, by starting at the USC site, you could find anything you were looking for.

BUT WE HAVE A BIGGER PROBLEM on campus, and I have seen it get exponentially worse since I first started here, many moons ago. The problem is simple: Nobody knows what is going on. I’m quite serious about this - Besides apathy, It’s the most dangerous trend in campus life. Does this sound familiar? "Hey Joe! Why weren’t you at activity X yesterday?" "Dagnab it, that were yesterday? Consarn it!" (Well, I guess that would sound more familiar if you had a friend named Joe, and he talks like a grizzled 1890’s prospector, but you get the point)

STUDENTS AREN’T JUST FORGETTING about events and missing deadlines. It’s much worse than that. There are events and activities that we don’t even know about. We are inundated with pamphlets, posters, ads, rave cards, and displays - and that’s just in the UCC atrium. We’ve become numb to these messages, and they’re not getting through. These are the activities and events that enrich our lives, and our time here at Western. Something needs to be done about this problem.

ENTER THE UWO CALENDAR. The event calendar is going to be your "one-stop shopping" for events relating to campus life. Students will be able to go on the Internet and have one central listing for all the events they could possibly be interested in. The list contains a wide variety of events, ranging from Mustang hockey games to Senate meetings to Saugeen pubs to reminders about add/drop dates to the chess club’s meeting to job information seminars to bands to a guest lecturer from India speaking about the sex life of the fruit fly. If any students are interested in it, then we’ll try to list it. You can customize the calendar to show you only the types of events you’re interested in, and to trim out the ones you don’t care for. Any group, faculty, club, individual or organization associated with campus life will be allowed to add their events to the calendar themselves. And if the sponsoring group has additional information, then there will be a link to their web page.

SYNERGY. That’s the best word to describe what can happen with this events calendar. The more students that check in to see what’s going on, the more active (or selective) they can be. The more event sponsors that participate, the more students will want to check out the site, and the more students will participate in their events.

SO CHECK IT OUT, and check it out frequently. The site is only officially released today, so there will be a large influx of events over the next several weeks. Give us some feedback, and let us know what you think. If you know of events that should be up there, let us know, and inform the event organizers about the site. You can find the calendar and everything you need to know at http://www.usc.uwo.ca/events

PLEASE EXCUSE ME if I sound overly excited about this project, but it is something I believe in, and I really think it can make a difference on campus. However, next issue’s topic gets me even more excited, so I’ll see you in two weeks. Have a fantastic 1997, and just you wait and see - Hawaiian shirts will be everywhere!

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