Two sides a go for referendum
By Kevin Gale
The University Students' Council dental plan referendum finally took shape in the 11th hour last night.
At last week's meeting, council approved a referendum question asking whether or not students want a dental plan which would cost up to $125 beginning next year. It was communicated to councillors that students would be given until the end of this week's council meeting to submit a proposal to run a Yes or No side for the referendum, to be held Feb. 12 and 13 in conjunction with the USC presidential elections.
A No side proposal had been submitted by social science councillor Brad Johnston, who was absent with regrets from the meeting, but no Yes side had been established.
During the meeting, USC president Dave Tompkins made a presentation to council in which he asked for volunteers from council to run a Yes campaign.
After no response, Tompkins asked if someone would run the campaign if the USC board of directors paid them to do it still no response. "The philosophy is that there are students who want a dental plan," he said. Tompkins added in the face of a No side proposal it is only fair both sides get equal representation.
Later, Saugeen-Maitland Hall representative Justin Lalonde and student senator Ben Thornton volunteered to run the Yes side but they will not be paid. "In the interest of fairness an information campaign would have sufficed, but if there is a No side it seems prudent to have a Yes side," Thornton said.
Immediately following the meeting, Johnston's No side was approved by the USC elections committee and the Yes side was appointed by the USC board of directors.
The council's legal affairs officer, Ron Kirschner, said in situations when one side is not represented in a referendum, the Board can appoint someone to run the side.
Kirschner said in the impromptu Board decision following the meeting, it was felt that with the No side approved, the Yes side would not be fairly represented unless Lalonde and Thornton were appointed head the campaign, which begins today for both sides.