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    CASH killed at Kwantlen

    by Daliah Merzaban

    The student society at Surrey's Kwantlen College (KSS) has decided to withdraw from the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), a national student lobby group . At the same time, the college will retain its membership in the Cananadian Federation of Students (CFS), CASA's rival student lobby group.

    At an executive meeting last month, KSS councillors voted seven to one in favour of pulling out of CASA.

    KSS Vice-President Dawn Barron moved to withdraw from the lobby group because she believes CASA is ineffective, and doesn' t take an active role in improv- ing conditions for students.

    "CASA isn't very respected on our cam- pus," said Barron. "None of the students know what CASA is . So when they're asking us basically to choose, our board decided to choose CFS because it' s more effective .'

    And although UBC's Alma Mater Society (AMS) is a member of CASA, AMS Coordinator of External Affairs Nathan Allen agrees that CASA doesn't serve stu- dents well.

    "As someone who 's disapproved of

    continued on page 2

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    Although the student services question on the Alma Mater Society (AMS) referendum ballot hasn 't attracted the same attention as the health care plan and the legal- isation of marijuana questions, approximately $100,000 in student fees are riding on the outcome of the vote.

    The second question on the ballot asks whether stu- dents support an increase of $9 in their student fees, which the AMS would use primarily to fund UBC ' s radio station, SafeWalk, and increased hours at the Aquatic Centre. Should the referendum pass, the student services fee will be refundable on request The AMS doesn't want the fee to be pro-rated for part-time students.

    CiTR radio and SafeWalk are currently subsidised by the AMS out of its discretionary income, at a total cost of about $100,000 . CiTR also receives approximately $15,000 per year from the AMS 's fund reserves.

    If the referendum passes, this money would be freed up, and these services paid for from a student services fund created by the increased student fee . CiTR would receive roughly $115,000, SafeWalk $75,000, the Aquatic Centre $35,000, and the balance would go into a student services reserve fund and a special initiatives reserve fund.

    According to AMS Coordinator of External Affairs Nathan Allen, the CiTR and Aquatic Centre portions will be deducted from the total revenue . The remainder will be available to fund other student services . The AMS has earmarked SafeWalk as a priority for the next few years.

    Aaron Nakama, interim station manager at CiTR,

    said that the increased fee would provide the station with the funding it badly needs.

    "We 're really operating under our required budget " This year, the AMS budgeted $73,300 to fund CiTR.

    Over the past two years, CiTR has received roughly $70,000 each year—significantly less than the $85,000 that Nakama said CiTR requested.

    The station generally contributes over $20,000 in

    "What happens if one day our transmitter gets ripped off Gage? . . .We need a nest egg to sit on."

    -Aaron Nakama CiTR station manager

    revenue to its operating budget, mostly from member- ship fees.

    In the current CiTR budget, however, there is no pro- vision for capital replacement, which Nakama said is the station's biggest need.

    "What happens if one day our transmitter gets ripped off Gage?' Nakama asked. "We need a nest egg to sit on ."

    Of the $4 that CiTR stands to receive from every stu- dent, $3.50 will go into the general operations fund. The remaining 50 cents will be put into a capital replacement fund.

    Nakama added that the student fee would mean that CiTR could rely on assured funding from year to year .

    The SafeWalk portion of the fee increase will go towards paying volunteers in order to make the service more reliable.

    The Aquatic Centre will help increase the time dur- ing which UBC students can swim for free . AMS President Ryan Marshall, who chairs the AMS Aquatic Centre Management Committee, said that the commit- tee would probably survey students to see how they wanted hours increased.

    "What we looked at so far would be opening earlier for sure and possibly staying open later,' he said.

    Marshall noted the scheduling must take into account other Aquatic Centre users, such as the varsity swim team.

    Other student services will be able to draw on the remaining money in the fund. Brian MacLean, director of Speakeasy, said that the funding is very important to the AMS counselling service, even though it is not one of the primary beneficiaries of the increased student fees.

    " It's really important that our volunteers have really rigorous training,' said MacLean, who explained that their main funding requirement is to train volunteers in suicide intervention.

    In addition, MacLean said that financial constraints make it difficult for Speakeasy to advertise its services.

    "Our biggest concern right now is making Speakeasy peer support much better known so that when people are in crisis, this will be the first place they think of.'

    The AMS has suggested using the newly-available discretionary income funds for a Frosh Week, for UBC- TV, or to freeze food.prices in the SUB . v


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    continued from page 1 UBC's membership into CASA, I see it as a good thing that Kwantlen pulled out . I expect other schools, hopeful- ly if they see the light of how useless CASA actually is in terms of affecting anything will want to pull out "

    Ryan Marshall, AMS president, and CASA's regional direc- tor, refused to com- ment on the decision when asked by the Ubyssey.

    Marshall and Jason Aebig, CASA's national director, reportedly attended Kwantlen ' s council meeting to make a presentation in an effort to dis- suade councillors from passing the motion.

    Kwantlen's deci- sion comes after the announcement of CASA 's "Education Builds a Nation` campaign, which will be launched in November. The campaign raises concerns about funding cuts to post-secondary education, and proposes $4 bil- lion in new funding.

    "Our universities are worse off than our hospitals by a long shot," Aebig said at an AMS forum earli- er this month.

    But Barron says that CASA's strategies don't help students.

    "[CASA is] not a student move- ment, she said. "CASA is ineffec- tive because it doesn't let its stu

    dents choose whether or not they want to be a part of CASA, it's up to the individual student society, and [CASA] says it represents 240,000 students when in acuali-

    ty it only repre- sents the student society itself, n