Letters to the editor – Mar. 10, 2011

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I’d like to make mention of how impressed I was with the campaigning that kick started last week for the URSU elections. The Voice of Students was the first and, as of when I’m writing this letter, the only slate with posters up and tables out. Their platform seems to be responsible and reasonable. Although I would love a tuition reduction, I just don’t think it is feasible right now. Thus, I believe a tuition freeze is the best way to go.

However, before I decide how to vote I’ll definitely take into account other slates’ policies. I read their profiles online, but thus far was uninspired. In fact, I can’t help but ask: what will Kyle Addison be cutting from the budget to afford his promise to “lower URSU student fees”?

You cannot lower fees without cutting something, and as far as I’m aware URSU’s budget doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. Even more concerning, he also promises to increase funding for student societies and clubs. It is clear that something major will have to be cut in order to afford both lowering revenues and increasing expenditures.

What will the For Students slate eliminate? Will the UR Pride Centre lose their funding? Will we be forced to pay more for food in the Owl? Or maybe Kyle Addison is prepared to take a pay cut?

Regardless, I await the answers to these questions. I’m excited to see changes being brought to URSU and their effects for U of R students.

Sarah Cibart
Contributor


On March 16 and 17, University of Regina students will go to the polls to elect an URSU executive and board. I’m writing this letter urging students to make the smart choice and deny Kyle Addison a third term in office. Addison and his past executives have had two years to make positive and lasting changes across campus, but have failed to do so. Why, as students, should we allow a third year of inaction to govern our campus?

URSU has wasted money on such projects as black paint for the Owl and a student’s union website. Further, URSU oversaw a referendum that caused a major split for many members of the student body, with no result released yet. URSU, under For Students, hasn’t facilitated any kind of action in lobbying the government for a tuition freeze. Instead, we saw the Saskatchewan Party increase tuition twice in two years, while two URSU executive members congratulated the party on their advertisements during the Grey Cup on Twitter.

Many URSU executives of the past made their presence known throughout campus by engaging URSU in areas of environmental sustainability, improving transit, and fighting for tuition freezes, while instilling a sense of pride to be a part of the University of Regina. Many campus groups have seemed to have picked up the slack in doing positive things for the university, Regina, and society. I’m sure that URSU execs will catch up eventually, once they’ve finished their discounted pints at the Owl.

I have had two unfortunate encounters with two URSU executives. One refused to pay one dollar for a cookie in a bake sale to benefit Carmichael Outreach during an education fundraiser; the other explicitly told me during [the CFS referendum] that he only represents the voices of his faculty. Now, this doesn’t mean that Addison shares these attitudes, but when you operate as a slate, you’re guilty by association.

Two terms under For Students governance has resulted in zero action for students. When the strongest legacy a group has left over two years is apathy and anger, I think it is time to step down and let someone else take over. This year, please vote to make a difference in your school. As Kanye West once rapped, “the clock’s ticking. I just count hours.”

Mark Henry
Contributor

2 comments

  1. Jesse Leontowicz 12 March, 2011 at 23:02

    I am very disappointed in the outright attacks on For Students' and URSU, as well I'm disappointed with the Carillon for publishing such hate in their newspaper.
    @Sarah, you are very much within your right to ask how For Students' will reduce student fees, but suggesting falsehoods that UR Pride funding will be cut or Owl food costs will increase, does nothing but spread rumors, fear, and hate. Even your Voice of Students' policy does not give any details as to where it will allocate the funds for increased PAC funding, or create a $1500 resident fund. Let me take a page from your book and suggest they may be getting this funding from shutting down the Carillon or charging students to use the washroom, perhaps they'll look off campus and take the tip jar money from Subway. /endsarcasm
    @mark, while you may not agree with the Rolling Stones wanting to paint it black, the black paint came with black numbers on the owl's profit report. I'm not sure how you imagine that the black paint was a bad idea (seeing that profit numbers say otherwise). I am quite confident that people knowledgeable in the club/bar business were consulted and the question of best paint color (or need of paint) was made well informed. To say that URSU has done nothing for two years is ridiculous. Perhaps they haven't done anything you want them to do, if so, please tell. I'm sure whoever the next executive will be will want to hear from a student what they want. I'm not going to defend your run in with the Executives, but they are people too, they can't be perfect all the time..or even have change on them. But kudos on Kanye.
    Please, Restore Sanity. Stop the spread of hate and raise issues you are concerned with, with an open mind; don't complain about student anger and apathy if you're the voice of it.

  2. Mark 25 March, 2011 at 01:43

    The issue with the paint was not the painting itself, it was the hiring of an external force that charged URSU $22000…for paint. Yes, for paint. Let's be real here, black paint is not what saved the Owl. Kudos to For Students for getting people to come to the Owl. If you think painting a bar using outside resources is active and pro U of R students, then I think we operate on different ideas of successful student government. I would much rather see URSU employ people from our own talented student body rather than hire an outside firm. I have been far from apathetic with student relations, so much to the point that Addison and pals don't even answer my emails. I agree that they are all people and are allowed to make mistakes, but how many chances do they get? When part of your legacy is innaction, apathy, ingnorance, misogyny, homphobia, dividing the campus, and only representing your own faculities (told directly to me… ask Matt Steen), well, I feel like the positive impact of black paint gets a little lost. I have raised issues with URSU for the entire time I've been at school, but my complaints, questions, and ideas have gone unanswered. I'm not sure why people think that being critical is seen as a negative. Not all of us operate under a Britney Spears-ian idea of "do what the president says." But different strokes for different folks, I guess (I'm not implying you do, Jesse). But, yes, kudos on the Rolling Stones.

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