Volume 92, Issue 70

Tuesday, February 2, 1999


NEWS

Mad meds to march

Stabbing was self-inflicted

Grade of law improves

Mt. A strike stalemate

Province-wide tests possible

Corporately forumed

Pies fly in protest of CASA

Naimji focussed on the student body

Stimulating Valentine's Day

Quickies

Caught on campus

Corporately forumed

By Neil Malhotra and Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

With two opportunities to address University Students' Council electoral candidates during yesterday's open forums, students expressed concerns about the corporatization of Western.

One of the main issues raised was how candidates would avoid issues such as this year's Oxfam Students' Association controversy, where the perception was corporate concerns were placed before those of students.

Kalev Suurkask said he was very unhappy with the way the Oxfam situation was handled. "The way the situation was run last year was B.S.. When you put student issues on the same level as corporate issues – that's wrong."

Student concerns should always take precedence over corporate concerns, said Steve Zolis, although he recognized the appeal of such deals. "These are tough times with funding cutbacks – [corporate deals] are going to look very tempting."

Perry Monaco said he did not have a problem with corporatization as long as it does not infringe on any rights on campus. "As long as the educational experience of students is not compromised, that's fine."

If we are going to deal with corporate sponsors, strict guidelines need to be laid down as to how the deals are done, Emily Chung said. "We need to put our foot down." However, she said she did not feel the rules are in place to play the corporate game.

"In this time when a lot depends on finances, corporations have a part to play," said Nurup Naimji. "The reality is corporate sponsorship is an asset to us but the question is – up to what point?"

He added in order to maintain the status quo, a subsidy needs to come from somewhere and it is unfortunate it may need to come from corporations.

The important thing is there is no infringement of students' rights – the university is the last bastion of free speech, said John Botting. He added students need to avoid becoming clones in the corporate world.

SzeJack Tan said universities have no choice but to look to alternative sources of funding. "It's not the best option but it would help us keep the standards of the university up on top.

"We have to keep lobbying the government on funding so we don't have to go to corporatization," Tan added.

It is important to know exactly what we are getting into if we are going to do this, Joey Hammill said. "The contract must be clearly delineated."


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Copyright The Gazette 1999