Volume 93, Issue 53

Friday, December 3, 1999


Interpret the Charter correctly

Not allowed to make up own mind

Police force out of line

Study leaves should go

Right is independent of content

Looking at USC democracy

Simply stating his own beliefs

Poppies just aren't for everyone

Attack was personal

Toon lacked accuracy

Looking at USC democracy

To the Editor:

It seems the University Students' Council has been doing a lot of back-pedaling lately, trying desperately to explain its decision to unilaterally implement a $3.60 fee for opting out of the USC health plan. If you listen to them, you'd be told that everything was very much above board. The decision was based on a principle of fairness and quite democratic.

If you're bored, try the following exercise – go up to the USC office and demand to know who made the decision to implement this new fee. They might hem and haw about some meeting last year in which the decision was made, but you'll really have them searching for an exit the moment you ask for the minutes or ANY documented evidence that this issue was discussed at all.

Okay, so now that we know how USC "democracy" operates, let's look at their idea of fairness. Let's ignore for a minute, the argument that getting your money back was in fact, a benefit of the plan. Let us look, instead, at what the USC supposedly thinks is fair.

This is how the plan works: when you pay your tuition, buried in that large bill is a fee for the USC health plan. You have to pay it because almost 10 years ago, some students whom you've never met, voted that way. But that's okay because you can get your money back for a "full refund" if you opt-out.

Here's the problem: it turns out that taking your money and then giving it back actually costs money, tens of thousands of dollars, in fact. What's more, is that $3.60 is not just covering the extra cost incurred by the opt-out. It's your "fair share" of the total administrative cost.

So the question is really quite simple. Who should bear the cost of the plan? Do you think that those who are in the plan and benefit from the plan should pay for the costs of the plan? Or do you think, as the USC believes, that it is "fair" to distribute the costs over everyone including those who never wanted it in the first place?

If you still think that's fair, then perhaps you won't mind when the government starts charging you for the "benefit" of giving you your tax refund.

Pablo Frank
UWO Reform

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Copyright The Gazette 1999