Part-timers vote on plan
By Karena Walter
Western's part-time students are taking stock of their medicine cabinets once again as they decide whether to adopt a student health plan.
Information about a potential plan was mailed to about 5,000 part-time students during reading week. University Students' Council chief returning officer James Deans said he is confident the referendum will reach quorum of 1,150 ballots. "I'm sure we'll have stuff trickling in for the next week."
Ballots must be collected by March 17 and about 500 have already been returned, said Bob Klanac, USC marketing and services manager. "There has been interest in the past so we thought we'd give it a try," Klanac said.
Two years ago students were asked whether they wanted a health plan during presidential elections but quorum was not reached, Deans said.
The mail-out system was chosen this time because there is not a large sampling of part-time students on campus during the normal election time, said Jim Walden, USC general manager.
"We're trying to put an end to the question once and for all," he said. "We're putting a definite mechanism in place to see if part-timers want a health plan or not."
Paula Platero, president of the Part-time and Mature Students' Association, said a number of students requested a plan because they have been downsized from their workplace, have never had coverage or are single parents cut off from provincial benefits this past summer.
Out-of-country and chiropractic coverage are concerns but the biggest request has been for prescription drugs, she said.
All information about who is eligible and who will benefit from the plan is not yet known, said Klanac.
Some conflicts may include students at satellite campuses, correspondence students and full-time students who dropped down to part-time status, Walden added.