Volume 95, Issue 71

Thursday, February 7, 2002

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Day of Action protests sweep the country

London protest targets MPP's office

Candidates seek crucial political geek vote

Controversial speaker visits Huron

SSSC cash problem solved?

Candidates seek crucial political geek vote

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Presidential candidates got a taste of what it means to be accountable to the University Students' Council as councillors got the chance to air concerns during a forum at last night's council meeting.

Candidates were specifically asked for their views on the USC's student fees.

Kyle Winston, third-year political science student, said there were certain student fees that could be cut. "There's ways to go through [the student fee plan] and there's ways to cut it," he said. "We can go outside of what we do now and work with London Transit to cut bus pass prices for part-time students."

First-year honours business administration student Dan Tolhurst supported the current fee levels, but was open to changes if demanded by students.

"I'm a firm believer that you get what you paid for," he said. "What we would want to make sure is that we provide an open book for students so that they can tell us what they want."

Chris Sinal, a third-year history student, said he believed cutting fees would put the USC in a funding shortage and eventually result in the USC raising fees to higher levels.

"We should try to raise funds now so that we can build a reserve for the future," he said. "It's better to be a leader and do this now so that we can look out for the future."

Third-year mechanical engineering student Kevin Shipley said he has spoken to students at other schools in Canada and finds what they get out of their fees pales in comparison. "I know our student fees are high in comparison, but what we get here at Western is first level in terms of what is offered," he said.

Fifth-year media, information, and technoculture student Marc Raymond did not attend the forum because he was outside of the University Community Centre protesting to freeze tuition fees. He began his protest at 4:20 p.m. and said he was waiting for Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Diane Cunningham to approach him and discuss her education policies.

Mike Liebrock, a third-year political science student, said he wanted to make sure student fees were representative of the demands of students, not the USC.

"We have to ensure the budget reflects the students, not just of those who make the budget," he said.

Third-year science student Melissa Groendyk said she would cap fees at their current levels. "Essentially, I'd fight for a student fee freeze to set an example for the government to show them that it can be done."

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