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

Student federation's national campaign targets accessibility

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

The Canadian Federation of Students' national lobby campaign, entitled Access 2000, made some headway yesterday while visiting Western.

Joel Harden, Ontario chair for CFS, spoke to students on the Concrete Beach yesterday, outlining three proposals which constitute the group's course of action for the upcoming year.

Harden said he was asking the federal government to re-instate $3.7 billion in operating funds, help reduce tuition fees and offer a system of grants.

"Access 2000, if successful, can really address soaring tuition fees," he said. Harden added he wanted students, including all student organizations, to stand up and campaign against the federal government on issues specific to students.

"You have to build up a national campaign and that's where Access 2000 comes in," Harden said. "Altogether, education should not be a debt sentence."

Harden added he believed the campaign has an enormous amount of potential.

The CFS kicked off the campaign at Ryerson Polytechnic University on Wednesday, but Harden said it is back in Toronto today with plans to visit many other universities and cities, including Sudbury and Thunder Bay.

Catherine Dhaverhnas, president of Western's Graduate Teaching Assistants' Union, was also present at the Concrete Beach. Dhaverhnas voiced the GTA's concerns over the T.A.'s salaries and their tuition rates.

"Tuition is a main component," she said. "There's a direct correlation between wage and tuition. We want a correlation acknowledged."

Scott Reid, communications director for the Ministry of Finance, said he is familiar with CFS and the campaign. "I'm very much aware of it."

Reid added all kinds of post-secondary education and their needs are always taken into extreme consideration. "This is an absolute priority to the federal government," he said. "I expect we will move in those areas in the upcoming budget," Reid added.

Susan McDonald, president of Western's Society of Graduate Students, said SOGS is presently planning how they want to support CFS. "We're not sure yet what kind of action that we will be taking," she said.

McDonald said she wants to be sure she takes the right kind of action, and be sensitive to the needs of all graduate students.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999