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

"Dale a tu cuerpo alegría Macarena, Que tu cuerpo es pa' darle alegría y cosa buena.
Dale a tu cuerpo alegría Macarena, ĦEjjjjjj, Macarena!"
- Los Del Mar

"You are the circuit bridge!"
- Austin Millbarge (Dan Aykroyd) to Emmett Fitz-Hume (Chevy Chase) in Spies Like Us

"The greatest thing about 1996 is that 1997 will be even better."
- Phil Knight

Hey - Macarena!

So I’m watching this television special looking back at the year 1996, and they actually called it the "Year of the Macarena". Excuse me, but the last time I checked, Macarena is on Dance Mix ’95. But let’s look at this odd, yet insightful comment, and examine how the song Macarena is a perfect metaphor for the past year. Or, we could just move on.

Good-Bye Melissa Firth

After six years with the corporation, our researcher Melissa Firth is moving on to another job in Toronto. We will definitely miss her, so please wish her a fond farewell if you happen to bump into her.

Council Christmas Party
(a.k.a. the Michael Rubinoff Festive Celebration)

A special thanks to Kevin, Melissa and the rest of the promotions team for organizing the Christmas party this year. I had a blast, even though my Secret Santa forgot my gift. Highlights include:

Staff Christmas Party

I started hearing rumors about the staff Christmas party back in March - It was no disappointment. Strangely enough, it became more regimental as it went along.

LTC & The Bus Pass

Here’s the issue: Some universities (Queen’s being everyone’s favourite example) have a deal worked out with the transit company so that all students pay an ancillary fee, and then they can just use their student card as a bus pass. Western students have been demanding something similar for years, and I committed to taking a serious stab at it this year. I personally think it would be great, but I also believe something of this nature has to go to referendum. Unfortunately, with scheduling conflicts, and their budget cycle, we didn’t get to seriously meet with the LTC until December. Scott Graham is going to have a full report for council, but the short answer is "October". We plan to have the bus pass go to referendum in October 1997. There is a lot of work and coordination to be done between now and then, and the new, illustrious "Bus Pass Committee" will help plan things to come.

Diane Cunningham
(London North MPP and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs with Responsibility for Women's Issues)

Diane is really fantastic. Although I’ve been delayed, postponed, and rescheduled I pretty much forgave her the moment I walked into her office. After a worthwhile and concise discussion with her about the UWO Act, I had a lengthier chat with one of her aides. I’m still not entirely sure how to handle everything "politically", but she has filled in some of the missing puzzle pieces.

Smith Panel

Well, the Smith Panel released their report. It’s too long to fully discuss here, so I’ll provide summaries to council. There is some positive recommendations, and some really scary ones. Let’s just say that not too many of our recommendations made it in their report. The document is on-line at:

Funding Announcement

The Government announced that there will be no funding cut to universities this year. However, they have not yet announced if tuition will go up, or by how much.

OUSA Meeting

Western hosted the December Steering Committee meeting (and the follow-up teleconference) for OUSA. Some inevitable decisions were made that you should all know about. To help manage some of the previous years’ debt, OUSA was targeting a substantial surplus this year. Some increased staffing and legal costs have reduced that projected surplus. We knew that Mike Burns was leaving OUSA (this was his 3rd year of a 2 year term) and we were going to be looking for a new Executive Director. We are now letting Mike go earlier than expected, along with the researcher and office assistant. We will hire a part-time interim ED until the new one is put in place. This will preserve the budget surplus. Everything is still being discussed, and it’s not as bad as it may sound. In January we will have the details sorted out, and a more complete picture.

In Summary

Now you didn’t think I was going to let the whole "Macarena" discussion end so abruptly did you? Oh no, I couldn’t pass up this wonderful opportunity. You see, in retrospect, my 1996 has been like the Macarena. Stick with me here. Let’s say the dance itself is the USC. At first, I looked out at the people doing the dance, and I thought "What a bunch of geeks!" But then I thought "Hey, I could do that much better". So I ran to be the "head Macarena dude" - and I won. So I jumped right into the dance with everyone else. At the start you’re just looking around with a goofy grin on your face. You can barely believe you’re doing the dance at all. You’re trying to learn the moves - "Hand goes here, put my arm out there..." and sometimes you get caught turning the wrong way or smacking some poor girl in the face. Eventually, you get in the swing of it, and you’re grinding those hips like a pro. But near the end, you can’t help but feel like you’re just going through the motions. You’re never getting anywhere, just flapping your arms and spinning around. At times, you have to force yourself to clap and turn with enthusiasm because you know you’re just starting over again. But now the song has ended, and what will the next song be? That’s easy - I want it to be the conga. Now don’t go flying off the analogy handle. I don’t mean that everyone will start following me around. But I do want to take the basic principles of the Macarena: body movement and catchy rhythms, and start giving it some direction. I think 1997 can be the year of the conga - and besides, Gloria Estefen could use the career boost

In Brief…

Jr. Alumni
CFPL Call in Show
Dr. Mercer
JSU & Hanukkah
Davenport’s 50th B-Day
All Prez Dinner
A really nasty cold
Alumni Board Meeting
Chinese food w/ Dents
UWOFA Reception
Garrard & the SOTF
Presidential Wannabees
Virginia - Equity Services
Ismaili Prayer Room
Goodbye Murray!
Western Olympics
Internet Planning

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