Volume 93, Issue 14

Wednesday, September 22, 1999


Jocks can't opt out

Report on abuse unveiled

Funding to target women's health

Sex study shows Canadian youth get more nookie

U of T backs out of business deal

India-Pakistan conflict raises concern

For student needs, bet on the net

Tan and Reform MP discuss CASA campaign


bass ackwards

Caught on campus

Tan and Reform MP discuss CASA campaign

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

There was a surprise guest walking around the University Students' Council office today – Saskatchewan Reform Member of Parliament Rahim Jaffer met with USC president SzeJack Tan to discuss student issues.

Jaffer, 27, who successfully ran for a seat in the House of Commons at the age of 24, said he still feels close to the issues affecting students. "It wasn't that long ago that I graduated," he explained.

While his riding is Edmonton-Strathcona, Jaffer went to the University of Ottawa and said his party understands the issues concerning Ontario students. "We have always been very critical of fiscal issues," Jaffer said.

Mark Kissel, VP-education for the USC, said the meeting was a precursor to similar discussions with most of the other 303 members of Parliament. Many are expected at a reception the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations is scheduling for Oct. 20.

"Every party has its own sense and everyone's input is equally important. I believe everyone has to be targeted," Kissel said.

Jaffer added it will be difficult to evoke post-secondary education changes from just one meeting. "Reform has a real role to play in education," he said.

"I think the meeting went well," said Ray Novak, the vice president of the UWO Reform Clubt. "The average MP is older than us and usually a retired business man. That's what was so great."

Jaffer was on hand to help promote membership to the UWO Reform club for club's week, Novak added. "We took him around to all the clubs and they loved him."

Also discussed during the meeting between Tan and Jaffer were the main points the USC will promote during CASA's Education Builds a Nation campaign, including charging the goods and services tax on textbooks and deferred tuition for Ontario students attending university in Quebec.

"We're going to talk to anybody who'll listen to us," Tan said. "A post-secondary education is viewed as the bare minimum today," he added, stating if post-secondary education is the baseline for getting a job, than everybody has to reassess.

"There are some students who believe in free tuition. It's not right and it's not wrong," Tan said. "But if you take the average student who works five days a week in the summer, it wouldn't even cover [the cost of tuition]."

Tan said he didn't think students were adverse to paying tuition, but that they were sacrificing other important things in order to settle the bill.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999