DAAC fee increase is representative

Editors, the Gauntlet,

David Bird wrote, “I find the process and decision made by the committee to be undemocratic and completely out of touch with the student body and the university’s current financial situation.” The basis of this comment is a cause for concern. The GSA does not pay any athletics fees, yet they receive the same benefits as those who do pay. In discussing the motion to increase fees, the president of the GSA also said he had not yet consulted his constituents on the issue. Talk about democracy in action and the usual consultative process.

Both student representative bodies, the SU and the GSA, profess the undemocratic nature of DAAC. Such is not the case. The Council has always acted in a very transparent manner. On Sept. 7 the Director of Athletics first presented the idea of such a council to the SU. Over the following months through consultations with the SU and GSA, the composition of the Council was devised.

At a Jan. 11 meeting both respective presidents, Rob South and David Bird, signed the terms of reference for DAAC, including the nature, objective, and composition of the Council. The SU declined to bring forward student-at-large representatives and no students responded to an advertisement in the Gauntlet. Now, the SU is upset with the composition of the Council which they agreed to and had considerable influence on. The Council represents a department of the university which services students, faculty, alumni, and the city of Calgary. Its composition should reflect this.

David Bird said all students must do some fundraising. The money raised by other student groups goes towards their specific endeavors. Student-athlete fundraising goes toward items such as paperclips, photocopying and long-distance phone calls as well as their athletic activities. Student athletes represent the school with integrity and pride. They also pursue many of the same academic endeavors as all other students. As a school we are privileged to have people of such character and ability as our student-athletes. Students are being asked to increase their financial support of these teams by less than the price of a movie each year. Is such a request out of touch with the fiscal position of students of the university? I would argue that it is certainly not.

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