Volume 93, Issue 23

Thursday, October 7, 1999


BOG's dog race ready to begin

Trent students want out of CFS

McGill cracks down on cheating

Over the knee could equal out of your tree

Customer is casualty in airline wars

Study clears up vision question


Caught on Campus

Trent students want out of CFS

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

Two recent events at Trent University have put the school's affiliation with the Canadian Federation of Students in question.

Dave Powrie, president of the Trent Central Student Association, said a petition was presented to the TCSA on Sept. 19 asking for a referendum to end the school's connection with the CFS.

Approximately 400 of Trent's 3,800 undergraduate students signed the petition during the first week of school, Powrie said.

However, many students signed the petition at bars where they may have been intoxicated, Powrie said, adding a committee was set up to assess its validity. The petition's main issue was the financial accountability of the CFS.

Last Sunday, the 26 members of the TCSA voted in favour of a referendum in the Spring of 2000, Powrie added.

"We voted in favour but later found out due to some changes to the policies of the CFS, a students' council is no longer allowed to make this decision," he said. "It's as if we no longer represent the students."

Joel Harden, the Ontario chair of the CFS, said there are strict rules which must be followed in order to remove a school from the federation. A petition must have signatures from at least 10 per cent of the student body and be presented to the CFS six months before the proposed referendum, he said.

"The whole point of having the six month period is to have enough lead time to campaign both for and against remaining a part of the CFS," he said.

Harden added his three visits to Trent this year indicated no cause for concern. He said Trent has been an active member of the CFS since the early 1990s.

Mark Kissel, Western's VP-education and Ontario chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, said he could not comment on the reasons why Trent students were considering leaving. However, he said he applauded their effort and offered an open door.

"Trent won't pull out without an alternative," Kissel said. "We would gladly welcome Trent [into CASA] with open arms."

Powrie said the petition is presently in the hands of a lawyer who is assessing its validity.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999