Fanshawe and Western students' council aim to collaborate

You may not know it but there has always been a sort of animosity whether it's visible or not between Fanshawe and Western. Whether it has been on the field, at the night spots downtown, or by previous unwilling and unresponsive student leaders, it now appears two student leaders are looking to quash this perception or reality to some, and work in unison to further improve upon decades of relationship building between the two post-secondary pillars of the London community.

Emily Rowe is the president of the University Students' Council at Western and says that even though admittedly she has seen the positive and good things about the college through collaboration of programs through Fanshawe and Western, through her friends attending Fanshawe and through her involvement with various student organizations admits that there still is an underlying animosity and a love/hate relationship between the two schools.

“I am aware that it does exist and that's something that I would love to be able to kind of work on,” said Rowe.

Rowe believes by working in unison on community issues this can be done.

“I think the thing that will really bridge the gap and make us co-existing is really working together on events and if there is anything we can do together in terms of event planning, in terms of maybe an event downtown.”

Rowe also cited the possibility of having students from the collaborative programs between the two institutions getting involved to strengthen ties.

Jabari Cooper, president of the Fanshawe Student Union said their council at the moment does not have a concrete plan on how to work collaboratively, but he has been in discussions with Rowe since he was elected, and is intent on meeting with the University Students' Council early on in the school year. This would include a tour of their campus, have them tour our campus, and then have a discussion of what can be done together as leaders of their respective schools to further improve ties. Cooper also said he sees some of the animosity between the two schools expressed through a form of competiveness in general, competing to get a job, or competing against each other in sports.

One way that both Fanshawe and Western can work together is through a promise that Rowe campaigned on back in February, by re-evaluating the cultural and diversity clubs on Western's campus, and having them work in tandem, instead of on an individual basis, which she said may lead to a collaboration between the two schools.

“Maybe creating some sort of cultural fair or some sort of event that we can bring some of the cultural clubs from both schools together and so that they can see that there are peers around campus and do some sort of information campaign whether it be through our media sources at both schools, that's something that I would be extremely interested in,” said Rowe.

In terms of something tangible that can be done at the moment in the community between the two schools, Rowe said that she is looking to create a plan within their council to help pass along plans to the next council that comes in after them, a long term plan, so that issues and ideas don't get shelved from one year to the next and so that people can see the progression of previous actions from years prior. It appears that the two councils are looking at making strides to forge a better relationship between both schools that can be reflected in Rowe's thoughts towards the Fanshawe College community.

“I love you guys.”
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