November 7, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 39  

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Council: "Let's give the [big purple thing] a chance"

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

Another chapter in the storied epic of the little-big purple awning that could was written Wednesday night as the University Students' Council talked and talked and talked until they finally decided to keep the damn thing.

Engineering councillor Jennifer Yach presented her posted motion to council to remove the awning in the hope it would generate debate. She noted she hoped the USC would not spend more money on the awning and her motion would be tabled. "The motion will probably not pass because of the misquoting and inaccuracy of The Gazette," she said.

The question of cost for the awning's removal was raised in light of the conflicting information being provided.

"I'm not going to spin my wheel with the contractors because I haven't [received] a damn complaint," said USC general manager Mark Sellars, adding the removal of the purple awning will cost the USC additional funds.

USC President Paul Yeoman pointed out the university actually owns the awning and the USC has already spent a great deal on it already, adding it would only anger students more if they heard the USC was going to use additional funds to tear it down.

"Let's give the awning a chance," said Nic Tsoi, a USC councillor representing Huron University College.

The debate concerning the motion to remove the purple awning lasted shorter than it felt. The debate was interrupted by two failed motions; one to force an end to the debate and another motion to delay voting. Both were rejected by council. After debate wound to a close, council finally voted to reject the motion which would remove the awning.

However awning talk was not over yet - Yach presented another motion to set up a poll on the USC Web site to ascertain the student population's feeling towards the awning. "There's nothing wrong with asking a few questions," she remarked.

"We have councillors for a reason, I don't think we need to have a referendum on the issue," Yeoman noted.

"This continues accountability to our constituents - this gives us another venue for student opinions," said science councillor Arzie Chant.

"I think it calls into question the credibility of the council," stated social science councillor Michelle Manson.

The debate over the online poll motion continued for what many felt to be hours after another motion failed to end debate. When the USC finally did vote on the motion, it failed to pass.

"Council is made up of reasonably intelligent people who are anxious to take action or be seen to be taking action, so when an issue like the awning arises there is an escalating probability of ridiculousness as people try to one-up each other, that cannot be stopped, save by some sort of horse tranquilizer," said former USC President and current Gazette pundit Chris Sinal.



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