Volume 92, Issue 23

Thursday, October 15, 1998

talk it out


Students can't unite for a single cause

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

An attempt to unite students from a variety of different student associations and interest groups for a rally tomorrow failed, due to irreconcilable differences in ideologies.

The rally was initially organized by the Waterloo Federation of Students (Feds) to coincide with the general meeting of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and the days of action events held across Canada this week by the Canadian Federation of Students.

Christan Provenzano, president of the Waterloo Feds, said there were some fundamental disagreements about what the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group and Student Unite Power Action wanted versus what the Feds and other OUSA schools, including Western, were striving for.

He added he was concerned from the beginning because he felt the political ideologies of all groups involved were too far apart. "That seems to be what has happened."

The main difference between the Feds and WPIRG is the Feds are willing to concentrate on education and are not willing to look at other issues, said Narina Nagra, a member of the WPIRG Board of Directors and a member of the organizing committee for this week's events.

The Feds wanted security at the planned march and wanted to reserve the right to prevent people from handing out literature which they did not agree with, she said. "We had a lot of trouble with the restrictions they were placing on us.

"It didn't feel like a co-sponsored event."

Up until last Thursday, Western was planning on chartering buses to take students down to the rally but that has been cancelled, said Nick Iozzo, VP-education for Western's University Students' Council.

"We had been talking for the last few weeks but we couldn't come to a conclusion, so we put off the rally," he said.

Although the USC was not part of the negotiations, Western agreed with the position taken by the Feds and withdrew its support of the event.

"We wanted a peaceful rally to make up for last year's rally in Toronto," Iozzo said, referring to the CFS protest which ended in students occupying the lobby of a bank.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998