Lobbying successful?

By Ivan Danielewicz

Nothing but time will reveal how successful Students’ Union President Bryan West and Vice-President External Mike Bosch’s trip to Edmonton this past week was for increasing funding for the University of Calgary base operating budget.

Previous Alberta budgets have only seen small increases in the base operating funding for Alberta universities. West and Bosch, as part of the Council of Alberta University Students, spoke with the Minister of Advanced Education Dave Hancock in hopes this would be a different year for universities.

“I’m fairly positive that this year will be different,” said West. “For the Alberta government to be putting this much time and money into post-secondary education leads me to believe it will be more. He is still a politician but I think he’s looking to improve the system.”

According to West, the SU’s main focus this year was increasing the base operating budget.

“Tuition increase and budget cuts are a symptom of an under funded university,” said West.

The work CAUS did in Alberta’s capital has been appreciated by other members at the U of C also petitioning for an increase in the base operating budget.

“I think it’s a really good initiative,” said Dr. Anton Colijn, U of C Faculty Association President. “We have all been sending the same message to the government.”

Colijn believes there will be a small increase in the budget; a two per cent increase would double the previous increase. West remains hopeful there will be a six per cent increase.

“We need at least a seven per cent increase in the base operating budget to simply balance the budget,” said Colijn. “If we want to move forward, we are going to need 10 per cent.”

Colijn hopes his concerns will be addressed next week when he heads up to Edmonton to meet with Hancock.

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