Volume 92, Issue 95

Friday, March 26, 1999


Report says increase education funding

Rent refunds may be in the mail

Safety proposals pass the first step

USC audited statements check in four months late

Board sits on SOGS fee decrease

New fee for medical residents causing accessibility concerns

Iozzo sees term as educational triumph


Caught on campus

Board sits on SOGS fee decrease

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

The reduction of fees for the Society of Graduate Students have been put on hold until the Board of Governors' Property and Finance Committee has time to analyse all recommendations.

SOGS has proposed a decrease of $19 by cutting back their contribution to the intercollegiate athletic fee, however, the Board of Governors' decision has been postponed until April 22 to allow for financial analysis.

Jim Etherington, chair of the Campus and Community Affairs Committee and member of the Board, said due to the financial nature of these issues, a decision on this matter cannot be made until the impact this reduction would have on the university's budget is assessed.

"We are not ignoring the proposals that have been brought forward by various student groups. We have had many discussions and these are obviously important matters that have been brought forward," Etherington said.

However, Etherington had some serious concerns with the SOGS proposal. "Can you work within a system that does not take everything together as a whole? SOGS are proposing a two tier system, something I don't think can work."

As for the direction Etherington thought administration would take with this issue, he said it was still too early to comment, but was confident the decision would be made after a finance committee investigation.

Michael Rubinoff, University Students' Council representative on the Board of Governors, also had problems with the SOGS demands. "There has to be a universality with some things. Making a reduction in SOGS fees could set a precedent and potentially open up the flood gates for professional schools and even all undergraduates.

"What do you say to the 95 per cent of students that are paying their full fees and do not play varsity sports?" he asked.

Rubinoff added he believes the issue will spur healthy debate within the Board.

SOGS President Kelly Barrowcliffe said she has been confident all along their position is a fair one with many strong arguments. "The university doesn't want to find the money or change their program. They don't want to solve the problem or listen to solutions."

Although administration is not pleased, SOGS currently have support from Alan Weedon, dean of graduate studies and Ryan Bateman, a graduate student member of the Board of Governors, she said.

Barrowcliffe said an optimistic view would be the approval of the proposed $19 decrease or compromising with a phasing in of the reduction over time.

"[SOGS] are up against heavy duty forces and we have been told that we will not succeed. We have convinced some people but when it comes down to dollar amounts, they don't like what we're saying," Barrowcliffe said.

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