Volume 93, Issue 46

November 19, 1999


Walden, Tan, give yourselves a pat on the back

Walden, Tan, give yourselves a pat on the back

Re: "Walden's comments audacious" Nov. 12

To the Editor:

As I sit back and read the many complaints university students have voiced with respect to the administration fee charged to students who opted out of the University Students' Council health plan, I can't imagine what a stupid, stupid mess USC president SzeJack Tan and USC general manager Jim Walden have gotten themselves into.

I don't know whether it is anger or disgust that fuels me to write this letter, but the reasons the USC have put forth as a means of justifying the $3.60 administration fee have just been ridiculous.

First to Mr. Walden – your decision to charge the students as an effort to achieve equity among students was the biggest load of dump I've heard in a long time. Just because a student opts out of the USC health plan doesn't mean that the student is getting off without a hitch. For your information, I pay for a health plan that is a lot more than the $91.40 that the school charges so don't you dare say it's a matter of equity.

Second, I just love how people are so quick to point the finger at someone else, when the blame is squarely on the individuals themselves. USC VP-finance Derrick Taub states the "decision was passed by last year's council which was reviewed by the financial committee in March." The man sits there and says it as if there was nothing he nor the council could have done to prevent this from happening.

To the students who are under the USC health plan and who were complaining earlier about the lack of coverage that these plans hold, I sympathize with you. I have been here at Western for six years now and believe me, this has been an ongoing problem for years, with no end in sight. The USC thought that the students wouldn't notice the $3.60 subtracted from their cheques and that if they did, they probably wouldn't complain about it, after all it's only three dollars and sixty cents.

Well if you haven't figured this out yet, this isn't about money, this is about you and the school taking something that doesn't belong to you. For example, when you go to a store to return something, you don't expect the cashier to charge a five per cent fee for returning the product. You expect to get a FULL refund regardless! Remember, some of us didn't need the plan in the first place, yet we were forced into it when we paid our tuition.

To hear our president say that the issue will be tabled at a future meeting is a further slap in the face to all the students here. If he was a competent president, he would have rectified the problem by issuing a full and immediate refund to all the students who opted out. Instead, he's just hoping that the problem will blow away and that the students will forget about it. With these people representing us, it's no wonder less than 10 per cent of the students come out and vote on election day. Hmmm... I wonder why.

I would be really surprised if the USC does anything to correct the situation. So to Mr. Walden and president Tan, stand up and give yourselves a good round of applause and a pat on the back for doing such an incomprehensible and pathetic job.

Mark my words, within 10 years' the USC (if they still exist by then) will make this stupid health plan mandatory to all students regardless if they have a health plan or not. Like the bus pass, some students will be forced to pay for something they don't need. And to add insult to injury, since it's mandatory, they'll jack up the prices knowing full well that the students can't do anything about it (anybody notice that the bus pass is more expensive this year than last year?).

All I can say is thank God that I won't be here next year or 10 years down the road to witness what a travesty this foolish council has made of the school in their short term as student leaders of this university.

Dennis Ng
Physical Therapy IV

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Copyright The Gazette 1999