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Grads to vote on pass
By Sabrina Carinci
At a Society of Graduate Students meeting late last week, society members voted overwhelmingly in favour of holding a referendum to decide whether or not the cost of a universal bus pass should be included in their tuition fees.
However, SOGS President Kelly Barrowcliffe said the referendum will not be held until sometime next fall. If the pass is approved it will not be implemented until September 2000 a full year later than first expected.
Barrowcliffe said the decision to hold off on the referendum date was a choice of the SOGS referendum committee on account of the amount of work which would have to be completed in order to have the bus pass implemented for this coming September.
The council would have to negotiate with the London Transit Commission, hold the referendum and calculate the results in time to meet with the Campus and Community Affairs Committee of the Board of Governors on March 9.
Despite the year long extension, Barrowcliffe said SOGS is commencing negotiations with the LTC right away and conducted their first meeting yesterday morning.
"We're undertaking some research," said John Ford, manager of planning services for the LTC. He said conducting telephone research will help to determine graduate student usership and should be completed by March.
According to Carolyn Stoyles, VP-student services at SOGS, the LTC survey will also ask students the length of the bus pass they desire, either eight or 12 months.
Ford explained although the transit pass costs have not been determined as of yet, an eight month pass would most likely be based upon the undergraduate cost of approximately $75, whereas a 12 month pass would mean LTC administration will have to negotiate a new price altogether.
Anne Powell, a graduate student in kinesiology at Western, said although she will vote "no" in the referendum, she does not care about the outcome. "Personally, I don't need a bus pass but if I was paying for one I'd probably use it," she said.