Volume 96, Issue 84
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

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More USC violations

To the Editor:

On Jan. 23, 1997, The Gazette broke a story about a proposed referendum on a dental plan. In the story, it was expressed that for a YES vote to be binding, a 20 per cent quorum would be required. In other words, 20 per cent of the student population would need to participate in the referendum, voting either YES or NO.

In 1997, the final count was 2,938 NO and 1,849 YES votes and, subsequently, the dental plan failed. More importantly, the 4,600 person quorum was achieved.

Fast forward to last month. In the most recent incarnation of the dental plan debate, only 4,295 students participated in the referendum, which is far below quorum even by 1997 standards. For referendum results to be binding, according to the University Students' Council's own bylaws, 5,012 people needed to come out and vote last February. They didn't.

Now the USC Board of Directors has thrown up smoke and mirrors, arguing that the quorum requirement doesn't apply because the referendum wasn't on a "policy issue." Give me a break. How is it that the dental plan was a policy issue in 1997, but now it's not? How is it that in 1997 quorum was needed, but now it's not?

Wake up USC. You can't retroactively – and arbitrarily – change the law because it's embarrassing or inconvenient. Swallow your pride and repeat the referendum in the fall, and this time make sure we get quorum.

Yuri Chumak
Law/ Computer Science IV

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