Volume 92, Issue 2

Friday, May 22, 1998

increase this


Students get stuffed at Senate

Gazette Staff

Three motions proposing the reduction and limiting of tuition increases were struck down by Western's Senate in a meeting last Friday while 70 student protestors looked on.

Daniel Rabinovitch, a second-year medical student at Western and one of the coordinators of the student protest, said they were hoping to stop tuition hikes for next year's students. "We're here to help future students and the public education system in Canada," he said.

While their efforts were to no avail, others who put forward motions to Senate to lower the fee increases, similarily, had no effect.

After the defeat of two motions he put forward to Senators, Ian Armour, University Students' Council president, said he was disappointed. "I knew we weren't going to win because then they would have to redo the budget," he said.

Armour's first motion asked Senate to limit next year's total tuition revenue to a maximum of $8.5 million as opposed to the proposed $16.8 million. The second motion asked the Senate to postpone the consideration of tuition fees for the 1999/2000 school year until the release of the 1999 provincial budget next spring.

Peter Mercer, Western's VP-academic, said there was probably a miscalculation in Armour's proposal for his first motion. If the numbers in his document were accurate, then someone had stolen a lot of money, as the funds were no where to be found, he added.

"We have lost 17 per cent of the work force here at Western – this is a horrible dilemma for us to face but we do not have the money," he said.

Later, Armour said there was no error in the proposal as all the relevant number amounts were taken from the administration's previous budget.

Shiva Singh, chair of the Senate Committee on University Planning, which prepared the budget, said a reduction in tuition increases would reduce Western's overall quality of education, courses and classroom improvements as well as information and technical services.

A third motion was made to Senate on behalf of first-year medical students by Ian Black, a student senator, who proposed a maximum tuition increase of 20 per cent in the 1998/99 school year for medicine instead of the proposed 106 per cent increase. Black also presented to Senate a petition signed by every first and second-year student as well as various faculty members who wanted to limit the program's tuition increase.

"We have to remember that students are not doctors, they're students," he said.

In response, Moran said programs such as medicine and dentistry are expensive to maintain and more money is needed to keep them running. "These are funds we need – not extras."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998