Volume 95, Issue 73

Tuesday, February 12, 2002
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"Excitement can only spread"

Website rates profs

Jimmy Flaherty cases Western for voters

Drunkards steal squash trophy

Lobby groups lack self-esteem, bicker for friends

Lobby groups lack self-esteem, bicker for friends

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

The results of a referendum at Queen's University last Thursday are being withheld pending an investigation into possible violations by both sides.

The referendum question, put to students during the student council presidential elections, asked students if they would support joining the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance – a provincial lobby group – as full status members.

Currently, Queen's is an associate member of OUSA and has been for the last year.

Scott Courtice, president of the Alma Mater Society at Queen's, said that during the weeks leading up to the referendum, the conduct of both anti-OUSA and pro-OUSA groups was "beyond reproach."

Courtice said there is some evidence supporting claims that certain groups on campus were responsible for spreading materials containing false statements about OUSA suggesting the lobby group is in favour of tuition rises.

"You can't knowingly spread false statements about a referendum question," Courtice said, adding if the allegations are true, the referendum results will not be valid.

Courtice said among the allegations are claims that the Canadian Federation of Students – a provincial and national lobby group – funded the anti-OUSA campaign.

Rick Telfer, CFS Ontario national executive representative, said CFS was not involved in supporting either group in the referendum.

"This kind of a controversy is nothing new. Just because there is a 'no' side does not mean there is a conspiracy," he said, adding he supports the idea of holding a referendum to allow students to choose which organizations they wish to join.

Erin McCloskey, president of OUSA and VP-education for the University Students' Council, said it is important Queen's students know the truth about what they are voting for – or against.

"OUSA and CFS support the same things, we just have different methods of lobbying," McCloskey added.

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