Report for the month of October

Monday, 27 October 2003 — 5:08pm | Studentpolitik

It’s funny how much happens when you don’t update a weblog for three weeks.

Last Tuesday, I actually had someone come up to me – in person – and ask me to update this page. Apparently he seriously needed something better to do on his downtime, given that expounding on the various benefits of separating executive and legislative powers on the SU Webboard is no longer a dependable source of diversion. Yes, that’s right – Separation of Powers was defeated at the 7 October meeting. Since then, the big battle has been around the issue of the multi-year tuition proposal that Dr. Carl Amrhein, Provost and VP Academic, presented that very night. (See the minutes on Page 4 of the 21 October Agenda.) The big ruckus is over whether or not – and if so, under what conditions – SU President Mat Brechtel should negotiate with the administration for an agreement on tuition increases and a united front in lobbying the provincial government for more funding.

The 21 October meeting led to a lengthy discussion of this issue that extended all the way to 11pm before postponement and adjournment. Thus, there is an extra meeting tomorrow night to evaluate this very issue.

Currently, the prevailing analysis is that the terms offered by the University are clearly unacceptable and do little aside from silencing the SU’s annual tuition campaign once every two years. While it is true that the current terms are unequivocally lopsided and make a superficial connection to the “united front” idea, Council is also demonstrating an irrational unwillingness to differentiate the multi-year concept from the current offer. As a matter of principle, a coordinated multi-year strategy could deliver some serious goods – but it needs significant ironing first.

It’s much more substantially debated on the Webboard, here and here.

Believe it or not, Council dung-flinging wasn’t the only thing that happened in October. I had the opportunity to see two very notable releases in cinemas, Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and Mystic River. Both of them are highly recommended viewing. Unfortunately, a deluge of midterms still prevents me from having the time to get back to my old hobby of comprehensively analysing every film I see; tack these to the waiting list.

The Tory-Alliance merger brouhaha: what hasn’t been said? Well, for starters, everything. The Mackay-Harper agreement on the establishment of the Conservative Party of Canada – good name, by the way, and I still associate Conservative with the word “Tory” due to my British imperial roots – has a section on founding principles that says, for lack of a better descriptor, dick-all. I missed their on-campus merger forum last week on account of debate practice, so there are some blanks to fill in, but I remain a sceptic.

The debate practice was in preparation for the 2003 Hart House Invitational at the University of Toronto, which was the classiest tournament I have ever attended. I will shower it with praise in another post. I will not shower my actual performance at this event with any praise at all.


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