By Banji Li
The SU’s decision to pull out of a campus-wide lobby group was caused by administration’s delay in finalizing a tuition agreement, say senior SU officials. CORE–which includes administration and the Graduate Students’ Association–is now without the SU, one of its founding members.
"We would like the university to deal in better faith with the SU," said SU Vice-president External Nassr Awada. "Until we get the tuition consultation Memorandum of Understanding with the U of C, our involvement with CORE is minimal."
The Memorandum of Understanding, an agreement that would see any new base funding go toward relieving tuition, was first proposed last year between U of C President Dr. Terry White and SU President Rob South.
Other groups in CORE believe the SU was justified in leaving.
"The SU is investing thousands in CORE and… if they’re not getting any guarantee that tuition would be addressed through CORE, why should they participate?" said GSA President David Bird.
White remains optimistic the SU will continue to play an active role.
"I think that it’s possible for us to have a joint voice where it’s the SU, GSA, TUCFA, the AUPE local on campus, the Senate, the Alumni, and the university," said White.
Awada said some things need to be settled but says the SU’s relationship with CORE is not negative.
"It’s a relationship we can step back into," said Awada. "We’re willing to go back in if the university [deals] in good faith."
Other CORE members want the SU to return as well.
"I would like to see the SU get back in [to CORE]," said Bird. "The bottom line is that every member of CORE wants to see CORE continue. We see this as a very valuable thing and don’t want to leave it."
"I think that any time you can get all the parties in a university community together to speak with one voice towards a common set of objectives, that it’s a very positive state of affairs," said White. "And so, from that perspective, I think that CORE is a very bold and useful initiative."