Volume 93, Issue 81

Friday, March 3, 2000


Poll supports fight for student funding

Internet business boom

Opposition surrounds UWOFA part-timers

Province to make no promises on lower gas tax

Church plans to apologize for past

Scientists not just cloning around


Caught on campus

Caught on campus, again

Opposition surrounds UWOFA part-timers

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

The University of Western Ontario's Faculty Association moved a step closer to ensuring their part-time members have a guaranteed voice on their executive team – despite some adamant opposition.

Currently, the UWOFA constitution details who is permitted to sit on its executive committee, such as the president, vice-president and 10 elected members. However, according to Dan Jorgenson, UWOFA vice-president, the executive committee saw a gaping hole in the current text and recommended changing the wording to have the team include at least one part-time member.

"We need to ensure there will never be a time when there is no part-time voice," he said. "The point here is to recognize the role of the part-timer on the association."

UWOFA president Ernie Redekop agreed and voiced his support to give part-time faculty a written guarantee they would have a spot at the table. "This is an effort to say to one-fifth of the bargaining unit members that you are expected to take part in association business," he said.

Jorgenson added the association, which is over 1,000 members strong, included an approximate 20 per cent part time membership.

Despite all the praise for the change, psychology professor Clive Seligman said he saw some serious problems with having to save part-timers a spot on the committee, adding a written inclusion would be a step in the wrong direction. He explained if the committee was doing its job properly in the first place, the guarantee would not be necessary.

"I find this argument absurd that part-time members cannot win election in this union. Why do they need to have a leg up?" he asked. "It seems to me that this is really a very unnecessary amendment and I think it's ultimately divisive," he said.

The change is still not final, said Jorgenson, who explained the vote would now go to a mail-out ballot whose results would be announced April 10.

Claudia Vicencio, a professor of modern languages and a part-time faculty member, said she approved of the motion to put a part-time voice on the UWOFA executive committee in writing. "I think we need to demonstrate that constituency that isn't already active that we welcome them and their input," she said.

But Seligman said he was appalled by the association's need to implement what he viewed as an unnecessary rule into the constitution. "I'm very much against this amendment. I think that it is illogical and I think it is counter to our electoral traditions," he said.

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