Recently, there has been a lot of negative student response and press concerning Western’s decision to change the date of Homecoming. Western and the University Students’ Council have been criticized for this decision.
While the USC brought the potential ramifications to administration, we were not granted a seat at the decision-making table. Therefore, we were unable to adequately advocate for any change in this matter.
We acknowledge that this change was made by administration, community partners, and stakeholders in an effort to safeguard the tradition of Homecoming for years to come by alleviating the risks involved with recent Homecoming practices.
However, the fact that no student voice was involved in this decision is not in keeping with the role we have been elected to serve for our students. The USC has supported the Homecoming experience and worked with the administration to mitigate risks associated with Homecoming over the last three years.
We have done all that we can to provide safe, affordable, alternative programming to help safeguard Western students during this event. Still, the USC was not given the opportunity to provide an alternate solution to mitigate these risks and create safer Homecoming traditions aside from a date change.
The USC asks administration that we are allowed the chance to fulfill our mandate to represent the student voice on all decisions that greatly impact our students. We believe that the inclusion of the USC, and by extension the student perspective in these discussions will alleviate negative backlash to the scale seen during this Homecoming change. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter and look forward to productive collaborations and open discussions in the future.
Furthermore, we would like to address how little is currently being done to mitigate the risk of students celebrating on the October 1 weekend. We ask that the University support and collaborate with the USC on planning adequate programming to ensure student safety.
It would be beyond negligent to the point of contradictory not only to ignore the probability of students celebrating the initial Homecoming date but the role that the University has played in this outcome. We look forward to further discussions about how we can change the conversations around Homecoming and provide a positive, memorable experience for all parties involved.
The University Students’ Council
Eddy Avila, USC President