It wasn't easy being green
By Joshua Budd
Western's green plan committee decided to postpone this year's Envirofest after cancellations from several participants and a scheduling problem with yesterday's candidate forum.
Over 20 environmental organizations and a guest speaker from Greenpeace were expected to attend the Envirofest originally scheduled for this week.
"Normally only two to three groups ask for more time," the University Students' Council's green plan commissioner, Lori Goodwin, said. "But this year more groups that play a bigger role were pulling out."
She added some of the participants were constrained by financial cutbacks and others said they simply needed more time.
In the meantime the committee has begun the process of rescheduling all the organizations previously expected to participate in Envirofest.
Goodwin said the postponement will not financially harm the green plan. The only expense in running the event comes from advertisements and posters which cost the group $30.
She said the biggest loss comes from the hours volunteers put into organizing the event.
Bob Klanac, marketing and services manager for the USC, said he was disappointed by the postponement. He said he could have booked other student groups to use the space if green plan had contacted him earlier about the postponement.
"This is the first time somebody cancelled such a big space with little notice," Klanac said.
"We have to review the process so something like this doesn't happen again. We like to see the space used as efficiently as possible."
Michael Creighton, an Envirofest volunteer, said a scheduling conflict between Envirofest and the kick-off forum for University Students' Council's presidential elections, as both were scheduled to take place in the University Community Centre's atrium, was another factor behind the decision to postpone the event.
"They would interfere with our demonstrations and we would interfere with theirs," Creighton said. "It should have been fixed in October. This doesn't make green plan look professional. We had to call around and make apologies."
Creighton said he blamed the USC for not arranging a better schedule to accommodate both events at different times and he raised the issue during the question and answer period during yesterday's forum.
Chris Walsh, USC VP-student issues, said he and Goodwin made an agreement as far back as November to share the atrium. They both agreed the forum could use the stage and a little floor space for a couple hours.
Walsh said he learned of the postponement on Monday and was not aware of any problem arising from the forum.
Goodwin said she was fully aware both events were scheduled to take place at the same time and added she does not blame the USC for the postponement.