The University Students’ Council, it seems, is not fond of letting an election cycle pass without some sort of referendum or plebiscite on the ballot. Three years ago it was selling cigarettes at the former Mustang Alley. Two years ago it was a UCC renovation. Last year it was a, um, UCC renovation.
So what shall we poll thirty per cent of the student body about this year, you ask?
Well, the USC had originally planned to table a proposition that would see students chip in 52 cents a piece yearly to help bring a refugee student to Western to study. The levy would have paid for the students’ clothes, food, textbooks and other essentials. It’s a noble cause — read more about it here — and 52 cents isn’t much to ask.
But some – myself included – took issue with the USC telling students which charities to donate to over others. The USC is not my moral compass. If I’m going to donate to charity, I want to at least have the choice of which charities receive my hard-earned coin. Call me selfish, but it’s my money and I don’t pay my student union to chose which charities I donate too.
Plus, where would the levies end? How can you award a levy for this cause and not for other, equally deserving causes on campus?
If only some student-run newspaper at Western had spoken out against this levy, scrutinizing the USC for the aforementioned reasons.
And what do ya know, the USC came to their senses this past Wednesday and abolished the referendum mere months after they approved it, making this letter to the editor from USC Vice-President Finance Ely Rygier even funnier in hindsight. Of course, they did it for their own selfish reasons — if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that’s a trend in this piece.
The USC wants to ask a different question on the 2011 USC election ballot – would students support moving to a 12 month LTC bus pass?
Please, try to contain your excitement.
For the reasonable price of $27 per year, Western students could extend their LTC pass from 8 to 12 months, giving students access to public transit year round. It’s a move that has been discussed by the USC for years and Fanshawe College and the Society of Graduate Students both already operate with 12-month passes.
Londoners and students who stay in the Forest City over the summer months will surely be in support of the 12-month pass. However, the majority of students who desert the city for the summer and thus won’t get any use of the pass may not be as gung-ho about paying $27 for other folks to ride the bus.
But Western students aren’t known for being selfish, right? Oh. Damn.
So a struggle it will be to pass this one, but the hope among the USC is that some students will think about everybody at the school rather than themselves and cough up the $27. Of course, that money may be much better spent on a night at Jack’s that you won’t remember. The choice is yours!
Well, likely yours, assuming the USC can move quickly and get a referendum on the ballot.
Pat Searle currently has a poll running over at his website Fuss on the Bus where you can share your opinion. At press time 75% of respondents had indicated they would vote yes to a 12-month bus pass. Of course, the majority of Fuss on the Bus visitors are likely council members so take that with a healthy grain of USC salt.