Volume 91, Issue 96

Tuesday, March 31, 1998



Royally screwed

Re: 5% goal, 100% effort, March 24

To the Editor:
Students at Western should be outraged not only that the Senate voted to reject even considering a student-proposed budget, but also that the editorial board of The Gazette would take such a complacent stand in their opinions page.

"A small victory on the tuition battlefield was won," the editorial claims. "Students demonstrated that something can be done to fight huge fee increases... It's too bad, an option could have been reached."

It's true, the students involved in this initiative deserve the highest commendations. In effect, however, their battle was lost before it even began.

Recall: the motion before the Senate was to simply entertain considering a second budget, one that contained a five per cent tuition hike rather than the 10.8 per cent hike contained in the budget – now the only budget – the Senate will consider next.

Consider the following: Before the motion was even considered, Peter Mercer and Greg Moran prepared a nine-page attachment to the agenda outlining all the reasons why the student-proposed budget would not work: a rebuttal – before the debate on the issue was even allowed to begin! The motion to even consider this budget was dead in the water before it even started!

Mercer and Moran should be ashamed at such a mockery of democratic processes. When debate on a student-led initiative is so severely pre-empted like this, student presence on Senate becomes pure, unadulterated tokenism.

Contrary to The Gazette editorial, this was not a "small victory" but a bitter defeat. Students demonstrated that, in spite of heroic efforts, seemingly nothing can be done to stop the University administration from continuing to place the burden of a 'quality education' on students' own backs.

Get outraged, students! You've been had once again! If you want a 'quality education' – the chief manifestation of which appears to be, in the eyes of the administration, a new football stadium – YOU are going to have to foot the bill.

Tom Orange
English PhD III

To Contact The Opinions Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998