Volume 90, Issue 65

Tuesday, January 21, 1997



EDITORIAL: 180 degrees

Any representative organization has qualms about how exactly money should be spent and what areas should be addressed to ensure the highest level of representation is attained – the Society of Graduate Students is no exception.

What does seem suspicious, however, is the process in which SOGS appeared to have recently made a decision, advertised a related job posting and then proceeded to quash the idea all together.

The original concern stemmed from the question of why graduate students have to pay an ancillary fee to Intercollegiate Athletics while there were only 14 varsity athletes who were graduate students last year. President of the society, Andrew Hui, said this may be construed as discrimination on the basis of age.

In a Sept. 19 decision, SOGS decided to spend up to $1,200 to hire a researcher to write a report about Intercollegiate Athletics and appraise its benefit to graduate students. Applications for the job opened Jan. 9 and it was advertised on campus.

In a sudden vote last Thursday the entire proposal was thrown by the wayside. The society decided it was impractical to spend $1,200 on a researcher whose findings would not affect the fee for next year. Once the findings were completed and the society tried to make a change – it would be too late because the university has already begun its budgeting process and by the time a report could be made, the budgeting would be completed.

The council is now saying the money can be better spent in existing programs. That sounds reasonable but perhaps they should have considered that before devoting additional dollars to advertising the position and suggesting there was some something lawfully unfair occurring on campus. The accusations, intended or otherwise, put Intercollegiate Athletics in a very bad light and grabbed a lot of people's attention.

Now, the idea is back to what it was four months ago – an idea, only now it was a bad idea.

It seems ironic that a group which boasts having such strong convictions and standing by them, no matter what the weather or how heavy the placard, has done an about-face.

The organization claimed it felt strongly about the issue, but still chose to blame the bad-budget timing. Maybe they forgot there will still be a council next year who could benefit from the finding of a researcher – the excuse seems a bit fishy.

Whatever the reason for the apparent faux pas, SOGS should make cautious decisions in the days to come because all eyes are on them.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca