Volume 93, Issue 1

Friday, May 14, 1999


BOG to Senate: reconsider med school tuition freeze

Bus pass universally confusing

Jungle yearbook mauls council

Flag on the Play - Mustang football player penalized for roughing

Tory budget gets mixed reviews

London's latest stabbing has fatal consequences

Rumours threaten school safety

Sun rises on new Weldon Library

Kill your T.V.?


In the city

BOG to Senate: reconsider med school tuition freeze

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

Western's medical students are outraged at a recent Board of Governors vote to make Western's Senate reconsider its decision for a three-year medical tuition freeze.

An amendment to keep tuition at $10,000 for the next three years was approved by a margin of 34-32 votes at Senate's April 16 meeting and sent to the Board for final approval. The amendment changed the original proposal to set tuition at $11,000 in 2000-01 and $12,000 in 2001-02.

However, the amended proposal failed to gain the Board's acceptance as several members were worried the decision to freeze tuition was made in haste.

"The fact is, we have to sit down with the incoming dean and work out a new investment policy. At the Senate meeting, because we weren't ready for a freeze, we weren't prepared for the numbers," said Western President Paul Davenport.

Jeff Stokes, dean of music, agreed and put forth the recommendation to refer the amendment back to Senate. "Senate must consider the implications of foregone revenue for academic and student support," he said.

Greg Moran, VP-academic, said the proposed freeze would not be fair to other students. "Our undergraduate students have a much higher default rate. They too need resources," he said.

Moran added the freeze would also mean a net loss of $546,000 in revenue for the university. This coupled with $234,000 which would have been set aside for student aid totals a loss of $780,000.

While the Board agreed to make Senate vote again on the matter, some Western students did not agree it was necessary.

"They have the right to refer the decision back to Senate, but I don't think it was the right thing to do," said Isabel Martin, a third-year medical student and senator for the faculty of health sciences.

Martin added she felt the decision made at Senate was correct because it included adequate representation from both sides, while the Board's decision did not. "[At Senate,] a decision was made by informed people and it should be respected."

SzeJack Tan, University Students' Council President, also expressed disappointment at the decision and said the Board's rationale for referring the matter back to Senate was unsatisfactory. "What's the point of us approving things if [the Board is] just going to overturn the decision?" he said.

London Mayor and Board member Dianne Haskett said she too was concerned over the possibility of having the vote go back to Senate, only to change. "I'm sorry if I'm grim. I just can't help but picture that's where it's headed," she said.

Martin agreed and said the average debtload upon graduation for medical students paying the proposed tuition levels would be well over $100,000. "This will heavily deter people from applying in the first place," she said.

The second round of Senate talks regarding the proposed tuition freeze will begin with the first Senate meeting in the fall.

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999