Volume 95, Issue 47

Friday, November 23, 2001
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Western talks booze policy

Chretien rallies the troops

Muslim prof discusses jihad and holy war

Big shot media guy talks federal politics

Brescia student: "As a woman, I don't feel safe"

PC club donation creates controversy

Harvard dude talks 'disequilibrium'

News Briefs

PC club donation creates controversy

By Kristina Lundblad
Gazette Staff

Almost a month after the Ontario Progressive Conservative party held a convention in London, concern still lingers over money given to the UWO PC club by the USC to cover attendance fees.

In a statement read at Wednesday night's University Students' Council, one Western student condemned the USC's financial contribution.

"Why did the [USC] make a donation to a political organization whose mandate has greatly undermined the position of post-secondary education in this province?" read a statement by Matthew Rae, a third-year history student and VP-research for the UWO Public Interest Research Group.

The statement was read by Jessica McLaughlin, a fourth-year political science student, as Rae was unable to attend the meeting.

Rae questioned why the USC granted the UWO PC club $750 to attend the PC convention in London on Oct. 26-28.

His own club, UWO PIRG, was denied funding by the USC to attend the same event, he said.

"By granting this money to the PC Party, the USC is endorsing the Harris government and its initiatives," Rae said.

Mike Liebrock, UWO PC club's fund-raising director and USC governmental affairs commissioner, spoke before council to defend his club and the USC.

"We are the biggest political club on-campus," Liebrock said.

The UWO PC club went through the proper application process in September, while UWO PIRG approached council and not the finance committee only three days before the convention, he said.

Liebrock also said while the UWO PC club supports its corresponding party, membership in the club does not make students party members.

This was not an official fund-raising function, as Rae suggested, but merely a policy convention, he added.

USC communications officer Tim Shortill said the granting of the $750 did not in any way link the USC with the PC party.

Every year, money is set aside to be granted to undergraduate student groups who go through the proper application process, he said.

"This money is for any student group or any single undergraduate student who pays student fees," Shortill said.

To allot funding, the finance committee considers a variety of factors, including the number of students effected by the event, whether the group's own budget can afford it and the appropriateness of the event, he said.

The grants do not mean the USC endorses or condones the actions of any of the groups, Shortill said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001