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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

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Published by: uwogazette on Dec 07, 2010
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W W W . W E S T E R N G A Z E T T E . C A
Through rain, hail, sleet or snow since 1906
s backtop 10
The first five in a two-part series ofWestern’s best Mustangs >> pg.7
The 64-year-old diva makes her big screen comeback in the trite but enjoyable Burlesque >> pg.6Extended hours at the library are still upfor debate >> pg.3
s ac
 estern’s best MustThe first five in a twongs >> pg.7-part series of
for debExtende te >> pg.3d hours at the library are still u in the trite but enjoyae -year-o vap le Burlesque >> pg.6aes er g screen comeac
Arden Zwelling
Some students made the best of the torrential snow squall that wrecked havoc on London and caused cancelled classes and exams yesterday. Sledding on cafeteria trays — a favoured pas-time of Western students for decades — made a return to campus on Monday.
The first in four years
Western closes after immense snowfall
Kaleigh Rogers
If you’re still used to the GTA’s ver-sion of winter weather, the last cou-ple of days in London may havechilled your expectations. Yesterday marked this season’sbiggest snow squall and one of theheaviest in recent memory. Thestorm forced the closure of severaloperations and services aroundLondon. After first deciding to keep cam-pus open yesterday, Westernabruptly cancelled classes andexams around 10:30 a.m. After the announcement, ser-vices and facilities on campus,including libraries, The Spoke, The Wave, and the University Students’Council slowly started following suit.The decision to cancel classes was the result of a long consultationprocess beginning in the early morning hours yesterday, accord-ing to Gitta Kulczycki, vice-presi-dent resources and operations for Western.“At that point in time, the snow-fall wasn’t quite as heavy as what iscoming down now. Since fiveo’clock this morning, we’ve beencontinuing to consult as the snow gets heavier, and as we saw whatour own road conditions were, and we then made the decision,” shesaid yesterday.Though classes and exams werecancelled, the school didn’t official-ly close — a call that hasn’t beenmade since 2006, Kulczycki noted.“Back in 2006, we had 55 cm of snow and we closed early thatmorning,” she explained. “It’s aquestion of the decision-making for[Tuesday], which is too early rightnow to make that call, obviously,but we’ll be communicating through the course of today andtonight and early into tomorrow asto what our situation is.”Kulczycki explained an impor-tant factor influencing the school’sdecision to close is whether or notthe London Transit Commissioncontinues to run. Yesterday, Larry Ducharme, gen-eral manager for the LTC, explainedthey work very hard to keep thebuses on the road.“We appreciate that peopledepend on us and that’s why wehave very capable operators, andinspection and dispatching staff,” heexplained, noting they experiencedsome setbacks due to the weather.“We have a number of buses thatare stuck and we’re trying to getthem unstuck. We’re anywhere froma half-hour to forty-five minutesbehind schedule, but all the busesare out there,” he said, adding theLTC’s online service Web Watch wasshut down due to volume overload, which crashed the system.Ducharme noted the LTC wouldlikely not pull buses from the road,unless they could no longer servicesafely.On campus, The Wave and TheSpoke closed in the early afternoon,explained Jeff Armour, food andbeverage manager for the Universi-ty Students’ Council.“When that decision was made,instead of us bringing more staff infor our lunch rush, which is really  when the majority of our staff comein, we made the decision to notbring them in and to close.”He noted the safety of their stu-dent employees was their foremostconcern.“I knew in my head, just looking at the snow, when you have 30, 40-plus student employees that arecoming into work and trying tomake their way up there, it’s just notsafe,” he said.“The whole focus is just on thesafety of the staff, not just in getting to work, but also getting home. If this snow continues, and we wereto stay open until two or until three,and then the roads got worse andsomebody got hurt, that’s just notacceptable.”
UWO snubs campus
 Arden Zwelling
ASSOCIATE EDITORarden@westerngazette.ca
It’s Monday — six o’clock in themorning. While most students were stilldreaming, second-year law studentStephanie Bishop was in Woodstock  warming up her Mazda Protégé.There was a 9 a.m. administra-tive law exam to write, after all.“I knew there was a blizzard inLondon but I just assumed the uni-versity would stay open. They havestayed open on some pretty horrif-ic days,” Bishop said. After a nearly two-hour drive just to get to campus, she was justable to write it as the university slowly began to shut down.Sabrina Van Damme, on theother hand, wasn’t as lucky. A first-year law student, VanDamme had a 2 p.m. exam and lefther house at 10:30 a.m., expecting alengthy, unpleasant commute.“I’m upset because you get upand you’re all ready to go write thisexam — a lot of people were already on campus studying,” Van Dammesaid. “We all just ended up going home.” Van Damme isn’t unreasonable— she understood the chilly cir-cumstances. What she did notunderstand was why it took so long to cancel classes.It’s a white-collar problem, sure.But students deserved better froma university that told them to go toclass Monday morning before flip-flopping a few hours later. According to Western, the deci-sion to cancel classes was madesometime between 10 a.m. and10:30 a.m. But the first official wordof the cancellation from the univer-sity came over twitter at 10:52 a.m., while their website wasn’t updateduntil 11 a.m.The worst part? There was nevera mass e-mail sent informing stu-dents of the cancellation. Studentsget campus-wide e-mails advertis-ing Western’s post-graduate pro-grams and speaker series all thetime. But when it comes to vitalnews like Monday’s cancellation,inboxes stayed empty.It was a communications failurefor the university who neglected theeasiest forms of correspondence ona day seemingly designed to exploittheir usefulness.
Zwellin’ itlike it is
>> seeWESTERN pg.3
> Western’s Reaction
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Monica Blaylock 
Study plans couldn’t be foiled despiteWestern libraries closing their doors to students yesterday after campus was shutdown. The University Community Centre remained open, but several operations,including Tim Hortons, also closed shop.
News Briefs
Queen’s studentdies in fall
Months after a Queen’s University student was found dead outside auniversity residence, a second acci-dent has left first-year arts and sci-ence undergrad Habib Khan deadand fellow first-year engineering and applied sciences studentStephen Nagy in the hospital.Khan and Nagy fell 12 metresthrough a library skylight at DuncanMcArthur Hall Thursday evening.There was no indication why thestudents were on the roof of thelibrary, although they did not havepermission to be there.Safiah Chowdhury, president of the Alma Mater Society at Queen’s,said police are doing an investiga-tion before much information canbe released.“It was entirely an accident,”Chowdhury said.The death comes less than threemonths after first-year engineering student Cameron Bruce’s acciden-tal death on Sept. 13.“The two accidents are seen aspretty distinct from each other,both being exceptional cases.There’s just a lot of shock,” Chowd-bury said. With shock and grief high, theUniversity is ensuring students getthe support they need.“If any student requires any typeof support, that’s the focus of boththe AMS as well as the university,”Chowdhury said. A memorial service is being planned for before winter holidays.
— Cheryl Madliger
U of G strips down
Some University of Guelph stu-dents took it all off two weeks agoon campus, filmed it, and put it on YouTube.The students danced to musicand stripped down to their under- wear at a campus cafeteria in orderto raise awareness about the recentSenate decision to kill the ClimateChange Accountability Act, which was intended to help Canada builda plan for national climate change. Yvonne Su, a fourth-year inter-national development student, par-ticipated in the demonstration. Sheexplained Guelph students hadstaged two previous “strip mobs” toraise awareness for climate change,but neither received the attentionthis recent demonstration has.“It definitely took us by surprise,because our first video got over2,000 [hits], because it was the firstone, and the second one got over6,000, and then this one just hit theroof,” Su explained.Su hoped the demonstrationand the buzz it has generated willencourage other students not only to get informed, but also to takeaction.A lot of students were my fellow friends who are aware but they’venever taken any action. [...] Forthem to come out of it feeling empowered to take political action,I thought that was one of the bestthings that came out of this.”
— Kaleigh Rogers
Gitta Kulczyki, vice-presidentresources and operations, defend-ed the university’s actions.“Our communications folks gotout to the media. They also got thetweet out right away,” Kulczyki said,apparently unaware of the fact thetweet was sent more than 20 min-utes after the decision. A tweet, all 140 characters of it,should not take 20 minutes.Nevertheless, Kulzcyki is right —the
and other campusmedia were made aware of thedecision just after 10:30 a.m. andreported on it immediately.But most students, wary of mis-information, won’t make any plansuntil they see something officialfrom the university.Prior to 10:52 a.m., the official word was that classes would goahead as scheduled. Many saw thatand headed into the snowy abyssthat was London on Monday in thedirection of campus.It was a nightmare of a commutefor classes that ended up being can-celled anyway.“I’m sorry for their inconve-nience,” Kulczyki said. “We have todo the best we can in the circum-stances. Mother Nature isn’t alwaysentirely reliable or predictable.”Of course, there are a few mete-orologists who would take issue with Kulczyki’s assessment. Sure, we’ve all seen days when the weath-er called for rain or snow that nevercame. But this flurry was widely reported by every news outlet thisside of Lake Ontario. We knew this was going to happen.The least Western’s administra-tion could have done is communi-cated their plans early or effective-ly. Ideally they would do both — buton Monday students got neither.Today, the university might havelearned their lesson. They con-vened at four in the morning — well after press time — to make averdict on whether to hold classesor tell students to stay at home.“By four o’clock [Tuesday]morning, we’ll be able to make apretty good assessment about what we’re going to do,” Kulczyki said.“Turn your radio on.”Of course, that’s what studentslike Bishop and Van Damme did onMonday. And they were left out inthe cold.
• 3
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Hours at Weldonstill up for debate
Monica Blaylock 
Even after going 24-hours forexams, students want more from Western’s libraries. After the success of Weldon’s 24-hour schedule during last April’sexam period, students demanded arepeat for this December’s finals —and got it. But in an attempt to savemoney, Western’s libraries hadshorter hours of operation beforeThanksgiving this year, making stu-dents question whether the adjust-ed hours were effective.“I think that more students willstudy on weekends and eveningsthan use the 24/7 hours,” Pat Sear-le, senator-at-large for the Univer-sity Students’ Council, said.“I study in the [University Com-munity Centre] regularly and see alarge increase of students at 5:30p.m. on weekends coming into theUCC from Weldon. They were hap-pily studying and were asked toleave [Weldon], but they weren’tfinished. These are the students weshould not forget about in our pur-suit for 24/7 study space,” Searlesaid.Meaghan Coker, vice-presidentuniversity affairs for the USC, notedthe 24-hour study space being ren-ovated in the UCC should helphouse the influx of unhappy stu-dents.“Some people like studying at alibrary regardless. They need theaccess to books, to computers, toQuotes [Café]. But some of themare going to be able to use the study rooms, and that’s what we’re hop-ing to provide,” Coker said.The new UCC study rooms areexpected to near completion inFebruary according to Ely Rygier,vice-president finance for the USC.However, he noted the USC has nocontrol over the schedule of thecontractors and no official comple-tion date can be set.“Whether students prefer longerhours before Thanksgiving or [the24-hour library], we philosophical-ly believe students should haveaccess to a 24-hour study space,”Coker said. While the libraries did not nec-essarily cut funding from otherareas in order to provide 24-hourservices, the money used couldhave been allocated differently,according to Coker. She said thecost of having a 24-hour library ismuch less than the cost of extend-ing hours for the rest of the semes-ter.“[If] you’re going to change[library hours] before Thanksgiving,that would require more money than what’s currently being invest-ed for 24-hour initiative,” Cokerexplained.She said Western’s librarians arefacing budget cuts. As a result, thelibraries have had to do a lot of cut-ting back this year.But, Coker assured, the amountgranted for the 24-hour initiative was taken from a “separate pot of funds,” and that “it wasn’t a choiceof reducing hours before Thanks-giving or beefing them up forexams.”Regardless of student com-plaints about a lack of regularhours, the extended hours doeshave its advantages.“I’m fully bringing a pillow anda blanket, especially with snow likethis. I’m actually going to spendthe night [in Weldon]. I’m just wondering if we’ll get in trouble. If not, I’m sleeping there,” StefanieFarrant, a third-year media, theo-ry and production student, said.Farrant also noted she would betaking full advantage of the 24-hourstudy rooms to be opened in theUCC, but mentioned she was con-cerned they might not solve theproblem of over-crowded libraries.“I just hope it’s here before Igraduate. It would be great, but Ifeel like it’s just going to be high vol-ume, like the libraries,” Farrantcontinued.Coker noted the USC would belooking for student feedback overthe 24-hour library session to deter-mine whether or not the initiative will be deemed a success.“There’s been a lot of movementaround 24/7 [libraries] and sincethe university is providing themoney we’re going to support theinitiative one more time and see what the feedback is like.”
 Western slip-up costs students
>> continued from pg.1

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