Summer News Recap

Posted by: | September 9, 2009 | Comments Off on Summer News Recap

Happy First Week all. Here’s what happened while you were out.

On Campus

The Student Board of Governors representatives turned over. Tim Blair bids farewell, as Michael Duncan takes his place. Bijan Ahmadian and Alexandra Caldwell (UBC-O) were re-elected for their respective second terms.

The University approved a plan to in-fill Totem residence. This was met with surprise and glee from at least one editor of this blog. (Board item front page, 60-megabyte board presentation .pdf)

The BC Civil Liberties Association notices that Housing and Conferences’ 2010 residence contract contains a clause that could be interpreted to violate a student’s freedom of speech in favor of corporate Olympics interests. Post-media frenzy, UBC issues a letter to future residents and modifies the contract.

Campus Community Planning decided the best site for a home for the terminally ill on campus is in a student residential neighbourhood. The Board is to next discuss it at its September 17th meeting.

UBC Athletics applies to Metro Vancouver to extend the hours and capacity of the liquor license for the new Thunderbird Arena. The RCMP is the major objector, alleging that with respect to music concerts, “profit is the main objective [of Athletics] rather than […] community interests”. The hours are extended at the RCMP-suggested reduced rate.

The RCMP suggests the University take sanctions against the Fraternities due to mostly non-student noise complaints.

The University gives first warning of three, in an effort to get the Fraternities to comply with their standards or face eviction. It is mentioned at an AMS council meeting that they are investigating legal action in response.

At an AMS Council meeting, senior University administrators reveal their intention ask the province to lift the domestic 2-4% tuition cap on “professional programs” (law, medicine, B.A.Sc programs) to make up for a structural deficit. The AMS President (in Arts) is displeased.

Off Campus

The Supreme Court of BC rules that UBC cannot collect parking fees. Awkwardly, the Court also rules that UBC can tow vehicles. UBC appeals. At stake is 20 years worth of parking fees, valued at $4 million. Since, the Court has ruled that UBC can continue collecting fees until the end of its appeal.

Years after the initial complaint, the BC Privacy Commissioner rules that UBC Properties Trust, and similar organizations, are under the “control” of UBC and must release some business documents on request. UBC has since appealed.

The Provincial Government announced $17 million in reduced spending in student financial aid. Programs cancelled include the Premier’s Excellence Award.

The Province released its budget for the fiscal year, which remained largely quiet on what’s in store for higher education, aside from keeping gross funding fixed at CPI. The AMS responded in a broken press release, and the Canadian Federation of Students BC spoke to the earlier cuts instead.


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