Volume 91, Issue 72

Thursday, February 5, 1998



Racing against tuition hikes

By Sara Marett
Gazette Staff

It was a clean act last night at the University Students' Council presidential forum as the candidates took their travelling road show to a USC meeting and faced questions from the pros.

The five presidential candidates were minus one as Jarmila Zakova had to miss the forum to write an exam. Zakova was fined nine demerit points yesterday for misrepresentation of facts as a result of comments she made regarding Ian Armour at a forum Tuesday night. Chief Returning Officer Tim Morris explained her accusation that Armour had held only appointed rather than elected positions within the USC was untrue.

Council members took the opportunity last night to quiz the candidates on various current issues and to also pose some light-hearted questions.

On a serious note, USC VP-student issues Sam Castiglione asked the candidates via cell phone from a conference in Ottawa how high they think tuition should rise next year and specified they could not reply with an answer of zero per cent. Warren Tilston said if not zero, then he would like to see an increase of 0.00001 per cent. "A lot has to change before our education prices go up – we should not be paying more for what we currently receive."

Peter Hill said he would prefer a zero increase, but could justify a five per cent increase if students could actually see the benefits of paying higher fees. "If engineers could get their library back for example – that's an improvement we can see."

A penny by penny justification would be what Ian Armour would demand if an increase occurred, he said. "I want to know exactly what I'm getting in return for spending more money."

Western President Paul Davenport said there should be a freeze in tuition and I agree with him, said Brett Slade, adding he would prefer to see a negative five per cent decrease instead of any type of increase.

On a lighter note, candidates were asked if the Spice Girls were a boy band, what spice would they be.

Slade said he would be Baby Spice because she's cute and he wants blond hair. Hill also wanted to be Baby Spice because she is loveable but dirty. "Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there one called Scary Spice?," was Tilston's answer. Armour said he would be Sporty Spice because he digs her.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998