Volume 92, Issue 91

Friday, March 19, 1999


Tilston would have been fired by USC

Deterring crime with technology

Computing a new degree

Student groups prep for elections

Nuts and bolts with a business sense

Mixed responses to standardized testing


Caught on campus

Student groups prep for elections

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Student groups across Ontario are preparing to campaign for issues and concerns affecting post secondary education.

While there is no doubt a provincial election will be called soon, Tim Reid, press secretary for Ontario Premier Mike Harris, said he was unsure when the date would be. "We've been gearing up since last fall and we're definitely ready for the premier to call an election. I think the other parties have been making preparations as well."

In anticipation of the upcoming election, student lobby groups have been sharpening their tools in order to garner student support and heighten awareness on post secondary issues. "We're not announcing our campaign until April 12," said Andrew Boggs, executive director of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.

Boggs added OUSA has been working to build a provincial coalition with various other member schools also concerned with post secondary issues.

"We want to increase the profile of post secondary education during the election by going after those groups with the highest voting average. Post secondary education issues should be up there with health care and elementary and secondary education issues," Boggs said.

Joel Harden, chair for Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, said his organization is preparing a campaign which it hopes will oust Harris from power.

"We're encouraging students not to vote for the current government, but rather to vote out the current government," Harden said. "We're non-partisan, but the fact that our members that are Tories actually support our campaign says something."

Harden added CFS disagrees with the Tories and feels the party is anti-student and pro-debt. "Things are extreme right now. This is not a time to be wincing. We think the best interest of students in Ontario would be to politically mobilize against the current government," Harden said.

Reid said he disagreed with Harden's assertions concerning the Tories. "We're always concerned when we hear certain organizations have bought into falsehoods that counter the truth."

Reid said both health care and education will be the main agenda for Harris to seek re-election. "We'll be focusing on education as a priority area. It's all part and parcel of the education system broadly speaking," Reid said.

Nonetheless, Harden said he is not convinced Harris will be making a big enough issue about the increasing problems facing post secondary education. "Having seen the lobbying reports, most of what we've argued for has fallen on deaf ears," he said.

Nick Iozzo, VP-education for the University Students' Council, said he agreed with Boggs and thinks the USC should target a lot of different key demographic groups. "Our hope is to stay apolitical, but still elevate the issues of post secondary education to the forefront of the election."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999