Volume 94, Issue 87

Wednesday, March 7, 2001


USC gets ready to talk numbers

Students up the computer creek - Police looking for FIMS break-in suspects

Hitchhiking isn't that bad, says expert traveller

Nike-funded report says Nike bad, but not too bad

Social services shafted as United Way falls short of goal


His Royal Mintiness

USC gets ready to talk numbers

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

The University Students' Council will have its plate full tonight with a new budget and a political prisoner.

First on the schedule to speak is VP-finance Dave Brebner, who is set to present an outlook on the USC's current financial state in a one-hour question and answer period.

According to Brebner, this first showing of the budget is to give council an opportunity to analyze and investigate all the figures before the budget is put up for debate at the Mar. 14 council meeting, where council will be able to demand further clarification and/or recommend changes to the budget, Brebner said.

Last year's council accepted a budget which projected a surplus of $316,555 for the past 12 months, he added.

Neil Kapoor, chair of the Student Caucus on Governance and a voting member of council, said the budget meeting is one of the more highly anticipated meetings of the year.

"It sets the vision of next-year's council," he said. "It's the responsibility of every councillor to evaluate the budget to make sure it represents their view of what council should be."

Also on the slate for tonight's meeting is a motion which asks the USC to endorse a petition demanding the freedom of Native American prisoner Leonard Peltier.

The motion, brought forward by Arts Students' Council president Dave Vaillancourt and Medway-Sydenham Hall residence councillor Matt Romanada, states the USC should join the growing body of support for Peltier.

Supporters around the world maintain Peltier was unjustly imprisoned for the murder of two American Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in 1977, and for which he was given two life sentences.

According to Vaillancourt and Romanada, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Robert Redford are among the noted personalities who have campaigned to have Peltier released from prison.

In the rationale of their motion, Vaillancourt and Romanada justified the USC's involvement in such a large, non-Western issue.

"Upon first glance, it may appear that the issue is not something that falls under the purview of the USC, but I feel it does," Vaillancourt said. "One of our responsibilities as a representative body is to be mindful of socially relevant issues. It is through this knowledge that grass roots activism can be fostered by our constituents. I feel that raising social awareness is an integral part of student politics."

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