Volume 93, Issue 16

Friday, September 24, 1999


Western to be no-show at rally

Western researchers going virtual

Stadium receives backing

Student federation's national campaign targets accessibility

Cannabis user to appear in court


Quirks and Smirks

Caught on campus

Buzz Mecca

Western to be no-show at rally

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

Western's undergraduates won't be represented at a nation wide protest against government cutbacks to universities.

Joel Harden, Ontario chair for the Canadian Federation of Students, said a nation wide rally, organized by CFS, is scheduled to take place Feb. 2 of next year as a part of its Access 2000 lobby campaign.

But Mark Kissel, VP-education for the University Students' Council, said a Western contingent at the rally will not be present since Western's federal lobby group is the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, not CFS. "We're not a part of CFS. CASA has had a debate on whether or not we'll take part," he said and added they finally decided Western would not attend.

Harden said the protest is intended to send a clear message to the federal government that students have solidarity when it comes to education issues such as tuition and funding levels.

"That's the day we turn around as a mass group to show we're not just a couple people. This campaign is for everybody," he said.

Harden added he was concerned the CFS message of solidarity was falling on deaf ears amongst Western's USC. "It's not the time to be divisive – it's the time to say 'let's work together.' Whether or not we're part of the same coalition – that doesn't matter – this is a golden opportunity," he said.

"Come February second, if we see thousands of students in the streets of Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, that will be because we've won the argument," he added.

Jason Kerr, president of the Fanshawe Students' Union, said they, too, would not be protesting at the CFS rally because they were already members of the Ontario Community College Students Parliamentary Association. He said the FSU preferred a consultative rather than a confrontational approach.

"We find it more effective to have open dialogue with the government. We prefer to sit down and talk. I feel it works better," he said.

Susan McDonald, president of Western's Society of Graduate Students, said since SOGS was a member of CFS they would be participating in the upcoming rally.

According to Harden, universities will be receiving campaign packages to brief them on events related to the Access 2000 campaign. "What they choose to do with it is their choice," he said.

"It's about winning a battle with the federal government."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999