Small but important

Two Students’ Union initiatives wrapped up on Fri., Sept. 28, though neither came to a final conclusion.

Shinerama, the fundraiser for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, ended for the time being on Friday after raising over $2,000.

"I think we did really well," said SU Vice-President Events Chris Kerr. "We have until February to hold events, raise money and meet the $15,000 goal, so we might just do that."

Kerr explained that while there are no detailed plans for ongoing Shinerama initiatives, the Shinerama cabaret will be held as planned on Sat., Oct. 6 in the Den and is expected to bring in more funds for the cause.

"They [the CCFF] don’t frown on us doing secondary fundraisers," he explained. "So we might do some other fundraisers and events in their name. But we should raise a good chunk of money this Saturday."

Kerr expressed satisfaction with the level of student interest and reponse to the Shinerama campaign.

"I rate it a success just based on student reaction," he said. "I had people come up to me out of the blue to ask if they could help out, they hadn’t previously signed up, they just wanted to pitch in. So that tells me it was a success."

Alcohol Awareness Week also concluded on Sept. 28 after a week of unexpected difficulties.

"[Students] are more aware [of alcohol] than they were before, I’m sure," said Kerr. "Unfortunately, a lot of the organizations we had booked and had space for in Mac Hall just didn’t show. A couple of them cancelled at the last minute, and the table displays and stuff didn’t work out quite as well as I wanted them to."

Kerr said that despite other cancelled events, including a Jaws of Life demonstration, the campaign had its successes.

"We had the Checkstop Bus parked on the South Lawn on Sept. 26 and that was really successful," he said. "We had it for open for tours and there was a steady stream of people in there."

Alcohol Awareness is an initiative that will be revisited in the near future.

"We’re working in conjuction with Dinos athletics and Campus Security this month," explained Kerr. "They’re doing a massive Operation Red Nose information campaign, so we’re going to put a lot of effort into working with them and hopefully have another alcohol awareness week."

Budget cuts loom large

     Alberta Premier Ralph Klein recently announced the government will cut $1 billion from its annual operating budgets in reaction to falling energy prices resulting from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. How such cuts will proceed is not clear at this time.

"We do not yet fully understand the impact this might have on the University of Calgary," said U of C President Harvey Weingarten.

In response to the announcement, all provincial departments are being asked to shave one per cent out of their budgets for this year. According to learning ministry spokesperson Jerry Bellikka, the ministry’s budget is approximately $4.8 billion dollars, meaning that $48 million will need to be stripped from the budget. In comparison, the U of C received $217.4 million in government grants during 2000, up from $213.1 million the year before.

A hypothetical one per cent reduction, should the cuts be transferred directly downwards, would equal $2.17 million.

Students’ Union Vice-President External Oliver Bladek remained optimistic.

"The learning budget has received probably one of the largest increases in recent memory from last year, with the funding for remission and base operating grants," said Bladek. "They received a lot more money so there should be more room in the budget."

The government is constructing a plan of action.

"They’re still working things out and I’m told the finance minister will probably make some kind of announcement around the middle of the month," said Bellikka.

Fire alarm falsies

     Occupants of MacEwan Hall were shuttled outside twice on Mon., Oct. 1 due to fire alarms in the building. Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz confirmed that the alarms were due to the ongoing construction of the new Ballroom.

"Contractors working on the expansion pinched a wire while they were working that triggered the first alarm," he said. "Later, they inadvertently knocked off a fire pull station which caused the second one."

Fire alarms have previously been triggered due to expansion and Fritz warned that Monday’s exercises were likely not the last of their kind.

"We’ve had a couple of alarms over the summer," he pointed out. "To some extent, it sort of goes with the territory of demolition and construction. There are so many considerations to make and these alarms are pretty sensitive. We’ll probably have one or two more."

Garden on the go

     After the launch of the University of Calgary’s campus community garden in May, student volunteers are now enjoying the fruits of their labour.

The Garden, located on West campus, was the result of a proposal submitted to the 2000 President’s Challenge by U of C students Erin Despard, Christy Bryceland and Yori Jamin. The proposal won second place.

"The garden has exceeded our expectations in terms of quality and quantity," said Despard after four months of succesful toil.

Student and community volunteers helped to make the garden a reality, volunteering for weeding and watering throughout the spring and summer. The majority of the produce was donated to food banks and surplus was given to volunteers.

Despard explained that only organic gardening techniques were used. She encouraged interested students to contact her by phone at 220-5213 for volunteer information. Jamin may also be contacted by e-mail for more information at


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