Volume 91, Issue 98
Thursday, April 2, 1998
USC policy questioned
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
When disagreement flared for the second time in the past three months between members of two student groups on campus, the University Students' Council was questioned and held accountable by concerned students.
Social Science Councillor Michael Rubinoff took the podium last night at the USC meeting to discuss his concerns over a situation which ensued between the Jewish Students' Union and the Arab Students' Association over a booking conflict for the space in the University Community Centre atrium on March 24.
What was originally meant to be a 'Peace Day' between the two groups, turned into a battle over space in the atrium which was a result of the JSU's booking being cancelled by the USC. The ASA ended up holding their event alone.
An advertisement was placed in The Gazette on March 26 by the USC explaining their side of the story and the sequence of the events which led up to the conflict, but Rubinoff said this wasn't enough.
"The USC did make every effort before the event but students were still offended," Rubinoff said.
USC President Ryan Parks said council dealt with the situation professionally and in a correct manner by placing the ad which he hoped would clear up some misinformation of facts leading up to the event.
"We attempted to state what we saw to be the chronology of events but there are so many issues to it," Parks said. "The USC is not in a position to censor what a group decides to present unless it is unlawful under university or Canadian law."
Rubinoff's final suggestions were directed towards the incoming council whom he urged to seek outside help which could alleviate any future problems. "The issue is not the JSU or the ASA it's how you deal with students who are offended."
USC President-elect Ian Armour said he is more than willing to sit down with Rubinoff and others in an attempt to hammer out a policy which could be followed, but is unsure as to whether any outside help would be brought in. "We are the students' council not the UN. We can't solve issues that have gone on for a number of years."
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