Volume 93, Issue 27

Tuesday, October 19, 1999


Law school sued for discrimination

Senate prefers to refer decision

CFS and OUSA debate over status

Star deal challenged by papers across country

Newfoundland abolishes New Year's Eve last call

Singing Blues after thefts


Bass Ackwards

Caught on Campus

CFS and OUSA debate over status

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

Two student organizations battled it out in a debate Friday, attempting to present their respective associations as the best for student representation.

Joel Harden, Ontario chair for the Canadian Federation of Students, discussed their accomplishments in the fight for lower tuition rates and increased financial aid. "We see ourselves as Canada's student organization," he said.

Harden added the CFS, which represents over 400,000 college and university students, has a long list of accolades, including the halting of taxed tuition. He also brought to attention the CFS's latest campaign, Access 2000, which strives to voice student need in light of an expected $12-$16 billion federal surplus.

Ryan Parks, executive director of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and opponent in the debate, explained OUSA, unlike the CFS, is a provincial undergraduate representative. "We also only focus on educational policy," he said, adding OUSA is presently working for a tuition freeze.

Rather than taking the CFS's protest style, Parks said OUSA operates in a more unique fashion. "We take a different approach. We prefer to focus our attention on lobbies and meetings."

Harden said the CFS likes a more in-your-face approach. "The moment of protest is something we're known for and something I'm very proud of."

However, during the debate, University of Guelph alumnus Hugh Chetwynd said he criticized actions of protest, as it can sometimes be viewed as militant in the public eye.

Devin Hanes, a volunteer for the centre for social concern at King's College and co-organizer of the event, said the debate encouraged a good discussion.

"I think on campus, student leaders have tended to get too caught up in the differences," he said of student lobbying groups. "Our main goal was to try to encourage our leaders and student body to look past that."

Hanes added he did think one group was more effective. "I believe CFS does a better job," he said, adding among many reasons, the CFS is involved in almost all student issues.

Overall, both leaders said their similarities were more important than their differences. "In a way, we are very different organizations working towards similar goals," Parks said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999