Volume 93, Issue 69

Wednesday, February 2, 2000


Candidates return to past at Saugeen forum

Commercials warrant channel surfing

Bill proposes ban on sex and alcohol in dorms

Penalties laid on four candidates

Kapoor bleeds purple with passion

USC needs a watchdog


Bass Ackwards

Candidates return to past at Saugeen forum

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

The health plan opt-out fee was a hotly contested issue at last night's University Students' Council presidential forum at Saugeen-Maitland Hall.

All of the candidates were asked how they would have dealt with the $3.60 ancillary fee every student opting out of the health plan this year was charged.

Dave Braun, a third-year political science student, acknowledged the confusion and anger felt by students, but said there were bigger issues which could have occupied council's time. "The president's job is to realize a council's time is precious. With that time we could have been figuring out how better to lobby certain groups."

First-year honours business and administration student Dave Brebner recognized the error made by this year's council. "It was a mistake. We all make mistakes. If I were on the Board, I would have immediately issued an apology," he said.

Jeff Brown, a third-year English student, said he felt council had no choice but to offer an apology to the angered students. "Collectively, the student council had to apologize to the student body."

While most candidates expressed the need for proper information and a suitable apology, fourth-year kinesiology student Mitch Chiba said he felt satisfied with the USC's actions in response to angry students. "I actually liked what the USC did [in apologizing]," he explained.

Fraser Connell, a third-year political science major, echoed the sentiment of his fellow candidates and felt an apology was necessary.

Neil Kapoor, an Administrative and Commercial Studies student in his fourth year, said he felt most of the problems could have been avoided if proper research into how students felt was done first.

"Once the research is done we can take this to council and let them make an informed decision."

Fourth-year political science student Ray Novak agreed the entire council should have been involved in any decision. "I would've immediately apologized and immediately invoked a debate about it in council," he said. Novak also noted he was the council member who first introduced the idea of an apology to council.

Luke Petrykowski, a second-year biology student, maintained if he were president, such confusion would not have occurred. "In my presidency things like this won't happen because I'm going to do my research."

Taylor Pressey, fourth-year political science major, stressed the need to approach students before any decisions were made. "I'm going to go out before it's passed and make sure people know [so] there isn't an uproar if it is passed."

Fourth-year ACS student Jeff Sutton acknowledged the controversy over this issue and the importance of preventing such a problem before it occurs. "It's a real touchy subject because you can see both sides. Next year I will make sure that students are properly informed."

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