Volume 90, Issue 80

Friday, February 14, 1997

Show Pony


Making sure the beat goes on

By Donna MacMullin
Gazette Staff

Western Foot Patrol's boots were made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do – if they receive a proposed increase on annual student fees to keep their service alive.

David Crombie, co-ordinator of Foot Patrol, said the proposal to increase student fees by $.80 was made after examining a breakdown of their operating costs. "We looked at what we needed to continue operating," he said.

The request was made by Foot Patrol to their division head, Peter Mercer, Western's VP-administration. "Foot Patrol decided on an evaluation of their needs what budget increase was necessary," Mercer said. The proposal to raise the $2.55 annual student fee an extra $.80 was then presented to the student services committee.

He explained the next step is for Crombie to speak to the University Students' Council, the Society of Graduate Students and Masters of Business Administration councils to propose the increase so they can decide whether to support it. "I think there will be a good deal of support for this," Mercer said.

Dave Tompkins, USC president, said he agreed. "Foot Patrol is one of the most-loved ancillary services on campus," he said. "I would be surprised if there is large opposition to this."

Andrew Hui, president of SOGS, said for graduate students the increase of $.80 would be spread over three terms. "Western Foot Patrol is a good deterrent for on-campus crime," he said. "For about $.30 a year, I think it is a reasonable increase."

Hui added when the issue was initially brought to the student services committee, of which he is a member, the committee decided to waive a requirement that calls for a student referendum to decide on the increase because the amount of the increase was so minimal.

Crombie said the increase in funds would function both to keep Foot Patrol's operation in existence and solidify their financial situation which has been fragile over the last few years.

"The way we were operating, we expected by 1998 we would be broke," Crombie said. The extra money will also help Foot Patrol increase promotions and advertising which, due to a lack of funds, had been cut resulting in a decrease in volunteer applications.

The proposal is expected to be heard by the students' councils next week.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997