Volume 92, Issue 75

Wednesday, February 10, 1999


SOGS questions fees

Controversial ruling overturned

Liberals offer solution

Social union agreement mobilizes

Music keeps people holding on

Investigations of thefts and alarms


Caught on campus

Controversial ruling overturned

By Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

A controversial ruling made during the last University of Western Ontario Faculty Association meeting was overturned by the UWOFA executive yesterday.

The ruling, made by the faculty association's speaker Jane Toswell, stipulated any members of faculty who opted into the association after the meeting began would be ineligible to vote on the equity principles discussed that day.

One of the most controversial principles stated if two candidates were deemed equivalent the one from the lesser represented group would be chosen.

However, many people present believed the ruling meant faculty members could not opt into the membership until after the meeting but could still vote on the equity principles later as they would be going to a mail ballot, said psychology professor Stephen Lupker.

"This was said in a way that very few people understood – it is flying in the face of what everyone believed."

Toswell said she stands by her ruling and it was not motivated by any attempt to preclude the membership of a certain group. "It was the right ruling. People can change it but logically it is the correct ruling.

"If a meeting decides that it's going to figure something out then the people who are members as of that meeting are the ones who should figure that out," she added.

UWOFA's executive committee unanimously voted to remove the ruling after becoming aware of the confusion it caused, said Aniko Varpalotai, president of the UWOFA. She said in addition there was some question of whether it was constitutional to rule on something which went beyond the meeting itself.

"The executive decided that it was in everyone's best interest to leave the membership open. It wasn't worth alienating both members and non-members over this," Varpalotai said.

Lupker said in the entire time he has been involved with the faculty association he has never been involved in a ruling which would prevent people from voting in a mail ballot. "To make this ruling the one time she knew a mail ballot was coming out of the meeting – what was she thinking?"

Any implication the speaker had some other motive or the executive was behind this ruling was unfair, Varpalotai said. "The speaker is entirely independent – she made a procedural ruling and there was no hidden agenda there, so I think it's unfair to speculate about that or imply that."

Lupker added he believed the membership would be willing to "let bygones be bygones" and move on with the mail ballot, but said there could have been problems if the ruling had not been overturned.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999