Election focus on aid
By Mark Brown
While faculty and university administrators will be stressing the issue of increasing funding to post secondary education, Western will focus on bringing itself back up to the national average in the next provincial election.
Western's president Paul Davenport said more public funding needs to be put towards student aid and universities. "The cuts over the last two years have reduced us to the worst funding in the country."
He added the situation at Western has to be addressed soon because Western will not be able to meet the expectations of students.
Western's 2000 for 2000, which has been endorsed by both students and faculty, represents what Western wants to see addressed, Davenport said.
Ian Clark, president of the Council of Ontario Universities, said the COU will be looking to build allies for the next provincial election, but added they will not be endorsing any particular party.
Currently the COU is still in the planning stages, Clark said. "We don't have any specific plan, we are just making sure we have our analysis ready."
He added, the analysis will focus on what they believe the expectations will be on the university system over the next few years.
The COU plans to have a strategy in place sometime early in the new year, which will be timely for the next election, Clark explained. He added the COU will also look to the Ontario Council of University Faculty Associations for support.
Ernie Redekop, vice-president of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association, who just returned from a committee meeting with OCUFA last week, said they are planning to lobby all three political parties in the next election.
Redekop added all faculty associations are being asked to work locally to direct more attention to issues more pressing to each particular institution.
He also said he would welcome student input. "We are all in the same boat."