News briefs: suitable for news-reduced diets

By Natalie Sit

Plasma screens up

Two of the four planned SU 40-inch plasma screens were installed in the west end of MacEwan Student Center, Tue., Aug. 31. The screens will generate advertising revenue for the SU as well as provide event and announcement information. NUTV was angered by the screens when they were announced in May, calling them a duplication of services that NUTV currently provides through its closed-circuit television system.

Although the screens are installed, they will not be configured for power and data until Sept. 2-3, said Ron Teggart, SU Project Manager for Redevelopment and Expansion.

"They were supposed to be installed [Mon., Aug. 23]," said Teggart, noting the company who owns the screens, Competitive Edge, had to redesign the mounting bracket to meet U of C safety codes.

Future plans call for two more plasma screens, as well as a large digital announcement/advertising billboard to be mounted on the outside of MSC.

More expensive coursepacks

The royalty rate for photocopying educational materials will increase Sept. 1, from 6.4 cents per page to 7.4 cents per page. Further increases are scheduled over the next two years which will see the rate at 10 cents per page by Sept. 2006.

"Essentially, photocopied course packs will end up costing more than the printing costs of an actual textbook," said Wendy Stephens, U of C Copyright Officer.

The rate is decided by Access Copyright, the publishing industry syndicate which holds and handles virtually all major Canadian copyrights for published materials.

"While it’s fair to compensate publishers and authors, it’s on the students’ backs that these royalties get paid," noted Stephens.

It’s Your Future

Keep an eye peeled for the Alberta Government’s "It’s Your Future" survey, as it will be arriving in the mailboxes of every household in the province this week. The survey was issued in response to Premier Ralph Klein’s July announcement that Alberta is debt free, and asks Albertans to rate spending priorities.

Beyond asking for ratings on health care, education and the diversity of the economy, the short survey also asks for Albertans input on what to do with "windfall money." The choices: personal refunds, investment in the Heritage Fund, or long-term investments in "priority areas."

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