Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


VP gets re-appointed

Another vote for SOGS

UBC to put its money on lobbying the banks

Viagra pops its head into London stores

Soothing surgical pain

Small ends his year with balanced books


Chomping down on useful etiquette

Caught on campus

UBC to put its money on lobbying the banks

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

The Alma Mater Society at the University of British Columbia is planning to spend money in hopes of helping students save some.

The AMS has announced they will purchase $30,000 worth of bank stocks tomorrow from institutions which handle student loans, such as the Royal Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Ryan Marshall, president of the AMS, said as stockholders, AMS members would be able to attend various decision making meetings such as the banks' annual general meetings. "It's a lobbying strategy," he said. "But obviously we're still going to lobby the government."

Marshall said the main goal of purchasing the shares is to raise awareness and hopefully, to get other post secondary institutions involved. "I challenge Western to meet our numbers," he said.

Nick Iozzo, VP-education for the University Students' Council at Western, said he was surprised to hear of the university's purchases. "It's a very expensive way of making a statement to the banks on behalf of students."

Iozzo explained the USC has not thought of lobbying in the same manner simply because the funds are not available. He added the USC has not felt the necessity to purchase stocks in order to better communicate with banks since representatives often seek out the opinion of students.

Sean Kirby, a spokesperson for the Royal Bank, agreed with Iozzo and said although the purchases are a good investment, they were not necessary in order to get more input into bank decisions. "Student opinion is not only welcome, it's searched out," he said.

CIBC spokesperson Rob McLeod said although the bank welcomes any investment, the provincial government makes many decisions and owning stocks, therefore, may not necessarily guarantee more student voice in bank decision making.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999