Plebiscite for quality

By Dale Miller

In response to the $2 million in quality money the Students’ Union could receive from University of Calgary Administration, there will be a plebiscite question in the upcoming SU General Election asking students where they feel the money should go.

“We’re trying to gauge students’ interests,” said SU President Bryan West. “I hope students’ take the plebiscite seriously–it’s going to be used seriously.”

The plebiscite will be non-binding, but West feels the results will be paramount in the SU’s final decision on where to spend the money. The SU will also consider last year’s quality survey, the Student Academic Assembly’s faculty quality reports and suggestions from U of C administration.

The options presented to students will be a student commons in MacEwan Student Centre, helping the university reduce class sizes, creating an endowment for undergraduate research/internships, additional library resources, a bursary for disadvantages students, a $500 tuition relief grant for successful applicants and a one time $20 tuition rebate to all undergraduate students in the 2005/2006 year. West said the quality money will be split between the top choices to get the best bang for the buck.

The $20 tuition rebate question was hotly debated in both Students’ Legislative Council and SAA meetings over the last month.

“The tuition is the Frankenstein Monster of the plebiscite,” admitted West, who felt having the question present represented a tuition victory for the SU. “It’s probably not the wisest choice, and it will probably kill our chances for future money.”

The quality money was awarded to the SU during tuition consultation and will be a percentage of the U of C’s base operating grant increase from the provincial government.

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