Volume 92, Issue 48

Friday, November 27, 1998



SOGS pass en route

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

The closing of a pre-referendum question on Wednesday afternoon could bring the Society of Graduate Students one step closer to a bus pass.

The question, posed Nov. 11 through a mass email, asked all graduate students if they would be interested in supporting a referendum on the issue of a mandatory bus pass.

The results remained close throughout the two-week pre-referendum. "It's been just about 50 per cent the entire time," said Carolyn Stoyles, VP-external services for SOGS.

According to Stoyles, approximately 80 per cent of all graduate students received the survey but only 50 per cent of those students responded to the mass email. The number of invalid responses, due to the lack of name or duplicate responses, amounted to 62 out of 894 total responses, she said.

The final results of the pre-referendum question, excluding spoiled or duplicate ballots, showed almost 53 per cent of graduate students favoured a referendum and 47.24 were against it. The results were considered questionable in last night's SOGS meeting since some society members did not think the cost of a referendum would be worth the hassle of a 50-50 split.

Despite these concerns, the SOGS council passed a motion in a vote of 29 to 10 to allow a temporary committee to begin investigating and negotiating with the London Transit Commission. The committee was established before the pre-referendum question was asked.

Prior to the SOGS meeting, John Ford, manager of planning services at the LTC, said their position is still the same. "The doors are still open. We'd be willing to discuss anything and to help in any way. They'll have to decide if they want to get involved."

SOGS councillor Desiree Grant said she believed the pre-referendum was worthwhile. "My personal opinion isn't important. What's important is that an important decision came up and a question was asked [to students]."

Grant, a member of the ad hoc committee, suggested she would like the end result to keep students happy. "I'd like to see people who want the bus pass get it," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998