I have decided to do a “Omnibus Post” to get a lot of information posted at once. I have been swamped with information and need to save time by posting it all at once. (Two Essays are Due This Week)
The SFSS Forum passed a motion calling a referendum on questions related to their relationship with the CFS. The following information is available on this courtesy of being uploaded by Clay Moray:
- Submission from CFS-BC
- Submission from Forum Working Group (Overview)
- Submission from Forum Working Group (Long unabridged version)
- Submission from Forum Working Group (summary list of peak articles)
- Submission from Forum Working Group (incomplete history of SFSS-CFS relations/incidents)
The questions are listed this week in the Simon Fraser Newspaper, The Peak:
Do you agree that the Simon Fraser Student Society should do the following:
i. Cease to be a member of the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Federation of Students- British Columbia Component, as well as cease to be a member of the Canadian Federation of Students- Services;
**ii. **Cease collecting student fees for the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Federation of Students – British Columbia Component (at present $7.50 per full-time student per semester; $3.72 per part-time student per semester: $23.50 for a full time year; $11.16 for a part-time year; for a total of $435,204.72 for 2006);
iii. Instead, collect $7.50 per full-time student per semester and $3.72 per part-time student per semester, and put said fees towards improving student services such as departmental student unions, club infrastructure, online student services, affordable student housing, staffing at satellite campuses, a publicly-accessible indexed archive of SFSS documents, and lobbying the government for SFU student interests.
Should be interesting to see how this turns out. Expect plenty of good debate in The Peak over the next couple of weeks.
There is a facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2246933779. There is a discussion occurring on the wall of the group that involves SFU students including Vanessa Kelly who was a member of the impeached G7 directors (just an footnote).
USask SU Restrictions on Media During Election Period
The USSU election rules are available online. The Candidates Meeting is tomorrow. Brad’s blog was “blanked” today. I take this as a sign that he is running. On of the rules of the election is on March 21st and 22nd, the general voting days:
There shall be no advertising on behalf of a candidate, no photograph of a candidate, no article about or written by a candidate, nor any reference to a candidate seeking election appearing in any media published on voting day(s). The exception is material, approved by the EB, to be posted by polling stations.
This restriction will apply to *The Sheaf *if they publish on their normal day. However, I suspect they will be holding the presses until the results are known. This could apply to other campus publications. The Elections Committee should made a clear exception for newspapers and the such.
Last Week’s Manitoban
There were plenty of good articles in last week’s Manitoban* *which I was unable to post about because of time. I am impressed at how much they were able to achieve in covering the UMSU election considering that all positions were acclaimed except one. Here they are:
- CRO Connected to UMSU Execs – an article about Caitlin Brown, UMSU CRO, and her extensive CFS connections. (Noticing a pattern anyone?) A sidenote, a week later, a CFS friendly UMSU Councillor called for the resignation of the reporter that wrote this article.
- Engineering Students Considering Raising Tuition – an article about the Engineers considering having a referendum. (They are having said referendum right now)
- UMSU CRO should resign – Editorial calling for the resignation of the CRO and a new un-bias CRO to be hired. The ending was very poetic:
However, I have no delusions that any of this will happen. My ramblings, I suspect, will likely be little more than wasted ink, as my inbox fills with angry letters from UMSU supporters and others shrug and mutter “What do you expect?” For UMSU’s part, a process that was undeniably fair and democratic could remove doubt that elections, contested or not, are more than coronations.
- Gary Sran vs. random students – An original way of covering an “Yes/No” race. The ‘Toban asked questions and instead of the normal candidate vs candidate format, they used random students. Definitely informative and entertaining.
- UMSU elections – Question and Answer with all the candidates. (A side note, I am very impressed with the candidate who will be representing students with disabilities) The ‘Toban could not reach one of the candidates so they wrote:
The candidate for women’s community representative is Robin Dourn, who also held the position last year. She could not be reached for contact. However, if asked what the most important issue facing U of M students is, we are fairly confident she would say “tuition.”
This Week’s Manitoban
The Toban came out this week and to nobody’s surprise, the letters section was calling for blood.
- Letters to the editor – Two letters calling for the Editor-in-Chief to resign. One of them, written by a member of UMSU Council, also calls for Tessa Vanderhart (the Copy Editor) to resign for her coverage of CFS related topics. Two letters on the Engineering Referendum including one written by Darryl Draeger who is currently the Chair of UMSU Council. I know a past chair that considers this to be grounds for his resignation or removal. The UMSU Chair is supposed to be above politics. (A side note, the same thing recently happened at USSU where the Chair wrote into The Sheaf expressing an opinion on how they thought the Executive there was great. I paraphrase.) At least the last letter (on Afghanistan) does not involve student politics.
- EDITORIAL – It is up to Engineering students to decide – a well written editorial on the current Engineering Referendum at UManitoba. I was very impressed with the following paragraph on UMSU ‘s interference in the race ([as first reported here](http://www.j
oeycoleman.ca/archives/2007/02/21/cfs_and_umsu_form_front_organization_in_possible_university_of_manitoba_engineering_society_referendum.html)), which states very clearly why this should be a concern to those in against the referendum:
This is not the first time UMSU has been criticized for interfering in a non-UMSU referendum. In 2001 complaints were raised that UMSU was unduly interfering in the Graduate Students’ Association plebiscite to join CFS. Or more to the point, UMSU is behaving now in much the same way as it did when Stephen Fletcher was president. This should be worrisome for UMSU execs as the Fletcher years, rife with accusations of running UMSU as a dictatorship, are still used as a benchmark by which to claim how progressive UMSU has become.
In the end, the decision affects engineering students alone and should be left up to them alone. It is the quality of their education and the weight of their degrees at stake. The politically opportunistic should butt out.
- Engineering students to vote on 40% tuition increase – this week’s news story on the Eng Referendum.
UBC AMS President Gets New Office Divider
On a lighter note, the Black Hand has done it again. They have a habit of welcoming new AMS Presidents by building new office dividers. This year Darren Peets put some pictures on Facebook:
UMSPAR President Quoted in The Eyeopener
In an article on the poor food service company Aramark in **The Eyeopener entitled “Aramark Blows”, Matt of UMSPAR is quoted:
“Jesus, recounting this really makes me hate these fucks all over again,” said Matt Soprovich, President of the University of Manitoba Student Food Advisory and Recommendation Association (UMSPAR), a group he created last March to protest Aramark. “From my perspective, at the town hall Aramark simply put a bunch of their greasy business suits on display.”
At the University of Manitoba, discontent with Aramark food services led to a series of town hall meetings. One meeting ended when a student approached the microphone with a green banana and calmly asked the audience to identify the colour of the fruit. According to The Manitoban student newspaper, he then ran up on stage and tried to force Aramark Canada vice-president and general manager Michael Oschefski to eat it.
When unsuccessful, he threw the banana at the executive.
Matt, buddy, love what you are doing but …. the message is lost in the language. Of course, I understand the frustration and I am one to talk all the way from the comfort of Ontario living off-campus. Matt you are doing great work. Do not forget that.
*The Eyeopener *took the story further:
The Ryerson community and the Eyeopener have had their own set of adventures with the food giant.
Earlier this year, the Eyeopener reported that Ryerson athletics had hoped to host pizza parties for fans through Aramark, but backtracked after a $300 quote. The story reported Ryerson’s catering services require a minimum billing equal to 20 people, regardless if you’re a group of 10, three or even one. However, that isn’t true according to Silvana Babikian, an Aramark employee in charge of catering at Ryerson and Jennifer Marriott, head of Food Services at Ryerson.
“A minimum order doesn’t necessarily exist,” said Marriott. “They are put in there as guidelines but if they can’t adhere to that dollar amount, they can speak to the catering manager and they can work something out.”
With the change of tune, the Eye staff decided to test it out. “So you’d say, bring a group of three or four people coffee and donuts?” we asked.
“Coffee and donuts for three? That very rarely happens.” replied Marriott.
“But you can do it.”
“Then we would like 2 coffees and a tea, and three donuts and a peanut butter cookie, delivered to the second floor of the Student Campus Centre.”
After the cost of food and the price for the labour to prepare and deliver our order, Babikian said we’d be charged $19.87 in total, and our food would arrive within 30 to 40 minutes. About 25 minutes later, java and goodies were hand delivered to our door — meaning we saved the walk through snow and subzero temperatures — for about the same price each as a Starbucks latte.
I love this. Nice job making them eat what they say! I am impressed. I wonder if I could arrange the same delivery for our next production night at The Silhouette? I got a good chuckle from this story.
Titus Gregory over at StudentUnion.ca reports that the Building On Slate’s website is actually hosted on the UMSU site, which itself is on the CFS server. I can say that I am surprised by this. This is new. Previously, candidates for UMSU office were required to have their own web hosting arrangements. A change like this should have been approved by UMSU Council.
The CRO made a ruling on this:
- As in previous UMSU elections and referenda, all candidates & referendum campaign sides are offered web hosting on the UMSU server.
Campaigns are required to include the domain name registration costs on their budgets. The UMSU By-laws do not restrict UMSU from providing services to campaigns or referendum campaign sides, provided they are offered equally to all, and in fact specifically restricts candidates to using UMSU services for certain campaign materials, such as photocopying at the UMSU Digital Copying Centre.
It is the ruling of the CRO that no violation of the UMSU By-laws has occurred.
UVictoria Student Society Election Supplement
I was very impressed with the UVSS Election Supplement. It was unbiased and provided a lot of information. This is a good guide for both student unions and the student press: http://www.uvss.uvic.ca/board/uvss_elections2007_webready.pdf
York Federation of Students CRO – Questions about CFS Connections and Potential Bias
The *Excalibur *reports on the YFS CRO in an article entitled: Choice of CRO hiring questioned. Is it just me or is there a pattern starting to emerge? Kelly Halloway was among the CFSers at the recent news conference where some signed in as members of the student media. She did not, she signed
herself in as being from the CFS and York GSA.
**UTSU Candidate Claims to Write
for the Campus Paper: The Varsity
One of the many CFSers who signed themselves into a news conference as a member of the student media is one Dave Scrivener.
He is running on the Your Team Slate for VP External of UTSU. His opponent is Joanna Murrell of the New Deal Slate. She makes no claims of being a student journalist.
Many questions are being asked about Scrivener based upon this action of his. *The Varsity *today gives him a pardon putting the fault on the Minister in an editorial: Editorial: When not to sweat the small stuff
You can see the sign in sheet here: media sign-in sheet from event where student politicians posed as media
CFS Day of Anger
The CFS is another show of how to completely forget your point and prove yourself unable to act with the decorum of a educated person. The CFS is holding a “Day of Anger” on March 8th to make the one year anniversary of the announcement by the Ontario Government. They are going to hold it by the Ministry building in downtown Toronto. They are asking their supporters to:
Join in a sustained two-minute sound-off at the Ministry at exactly 12:45 to show your anger (bring noisemakers of all kinds, including pots, pans, drums, whisltes).
Yes, cause banging pots together really makes me think “hey, tuition needs to be lower” and it is such an effective way of expressing that. If anything, banging pots makes me think of toddlers.
UManitoba Eng Referendum:
The Engineering Referendum is now in full swing. There are two campaign teams on each side: NO and YES. Two of the Yes Teams have websites and one of the No Teams.
The Yes side has www.saveengineering.ca and www.heckyes.ca. Save Engineering is very well laid out. It also includes “word-of-mouth” graphics for downloading. There are desktop wallpapers, MSN avatars and facebook icons. To the left is a modified (to hide the identities of the people) screenshot of a facebook page at UManitoba on day one of campaigning. The facebook icon is definitely an means of promoting the Yes side. They do enjoy the advantage of being endorsed by the UMES and as such can use the logo. They also have an video. It is original, but does not convince me. It is a parody of the current “Mac” vs PC Commercials.
I have covered the No side site: eathikes.ca and its connections to UMSU and the CFS. The site has now been launched and it is hosted on the UManitoba space of a student not on the CFS server. The site is redirected from the CFS server to the page it is on within UManitoba student webpage space. The site is completely written in Flash. This makes it look nice and allows for the multimedia experience. I am, however, underwhelmed by their slogan on the main page:
The Referendum drew the attention of the CBC today: Debate heated as students prepare to vote in tuition referendum which resulted in a link from Post-Secondary Education Blog written by Professor Dale Kirby of Memorial University. (Hattip for directing me to the news story)
Engineers in favour of the Yes side of the referendum pulled a prank. They placed a large banner off the side of a major campus structure. Daryl has the details, and pictures, on his site here: Engineering Prank.