August Monthly Report to Council.
Dave Tompkins, President 1996-97

"Summer Lovin’. Had me a blast" "Summer Lovin’. Happened so fast" - John Travolta & Olivia Newton John - Grease Soundtrack

"It's all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation." - Dr. Rob Gilbert

"Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug." - Jon Lithgow

The Calm Before the Storm

Imagine standing on your front porch watching a tornado coming towards you. A little voice in the back of your head is screaming for you to run away hysterically, but you don’t. You stand your ground, dig in your heels, and grit your teeth. There’s no way to outrun it, so you might as well embrace it.

Canada’s Wonderland

For a summer break, we took some of the staff to Canada’s Wonderland. We had some fun in the sun, and I found it to be a great rejuvenator. Highlights included sharing a bumper car with Gazette Editor Jason Ménard, and Walsh’s sunglasses experience. I had to hand my Whack-A-Mole crown to Ménard, but I can still kick his ass in Air Hockey.


There’s no point in trying to hide it or deny it: I renovated my office. The office is much more functional now, and the purple racing stripe adds some much-needed colour. The timing of the renovation was awkward, and I wish the new filing cabinet arrived earlier in the summer. I miss the beanbag chair, but it has since found a new home in fun Jerry’s office.

2001 Canada Summer Games

I’m now on a committee to help London’s bid for the 2001 Canada Summer Games. I’m trying to collect 3000 signatures by Sept 4th to help show some community support.

The White Paper

After numerous leaks, rumors and delays, the Harris government has finally released their white paper on post-secondary education (PSE). The paper walks the line between not saying too much (and making a commitment), and not saying too little.

As an overview, the white paper lists five objectives (excellence, accessibility, range of programs and institutions, accountability, responsiveness to evolving needs) with four factors influencing policy development (demographic factors, changes in labour force requirements and social policy priorities, funding considerations, the use of technology) and three areas of discussion (accessibility, fee policy and sharing of costs, co-operation among institutions and systems).

To coincide with the release of the white paper, Snobelen appointed an "Advisory Panel on Future Directions for PSE" (APFDPSE). Maybe if Snobelen had finished high school he could have come up with a better acronym. The panel is generally referred to as the "Smith Panel" after the chair, David Smith, who was the previous principal at Queen’s. There are 4 other members of the panel, and none of them are students. The panel is to report on three specific topics by December 15th.

If you are interested, I’ll be happy to provide you with a copy of the white paper & panel information, or you can get it online at: gopher://

More specifically, the Smith panel has been asked to:

  1. Recommend the most appropriate sharing of costs among students, the private sector, and the government, and ways in which this might best be achieved
  2. Identify ways to promote and support co-operation between colleges and universities, and between them and the secondary school system in order to meet the changing needs of students
  3. Provide advice on what needs to be done to meet the expected levels of demand for post-secondary education, both with reference to existing public institutions and existing or proposed private institutions.

At the vary least, we need to iron out our views on these topics. As a result, OUSA is meeting on a regular basis. Through OUSA we will be producing numerous papers and policy documents and we will get a private audience with the Smith panel. We will also be running an awareness campaign (alongside other OUSA schools), and we’re going to need lots of help and support to do so. I will get an opportunity to talk to the panel late October alongside other members of the UWO community and I have already had a chance to discuss the topic with the London Free Press editorial board. Discussions on campus will take place in early September at various sessions and forums.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that the provincial external affairs portfolio is going to be quite busy for the first term.

In Summary

I have this little game I play with myself. I take a concept I want to illustrate, and a seemingly unrelated object or abstraction and try to come up with an analogy to fit the two together. Sometimes I only do it to amuse my board members, and I often get lazy and pick easy analogies like the first section of this report. I want to compare the start of the new school year to my office. Soon after starting the job, you realize that you can’t change the shape or dimension of the office, but you can shuffle things around. Face the desk in a different direction, remove a piece of unused furniture, and add a fresh piece. You can’t move things too far because you have to make sure the phone cord can still reach the wall. Shelf space and drawer space don’t change much, but subtle changes can have drastic impacts on functionality. All your furniture doesn’t have to match, but they have to work together. In the end, you want a productive office that you’re comfortable with. But the office can only do so much, and if the office isn’t busy, It might as well be a cardboard box.

In Brief…

Operation Face-Lift
Tour for U of C
A Family Wedding
Event Staff & Parking
Western Olympics
UCC "Discussions"
Neighborhood Watch
Foundation Western
CHRW Morning Show

Jr. Alumni
Lunch with Dr. D.
Effective Writing Centre
Board Regroup Day
IA Golf Classic
Dr. Chan
Code of Conduct
Soph Training
Playin’ a little Squash

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