by Kevin Sheehy
Another school year is drawing to a close and with that in mind here’s a look at the significant events that occurred in 78/ 79. Probably the biggest event was the support staff strike last fall. Students here didn’t seem to notice much difference during the – strike but according to Centennial president Bev McCauley, the administrative aspect of the college was badly backed up. “If we didn’t need the support staff, we wouldn’t have hired them in the first place,” McCauley had said after the strike.
Members of union felt they gained a lot of respect from the strike and expect that the Council of Regents will bargain properly with them in the future. This school year also saw the end of free parking at the college which caused a major problem for the Student Association. Vandalism of the parking gates during pub nights cost the SA over $2,000 for repairs and also threatened the closing down of pubs.
“The SA can’t keep paying for the damage,” said Pub Manager Bud Rampton. “That’s why prices at pub went up – to pay for the damages.” On the brighter side of things, pubs made money this year compared to years gone by when they’ve always been a losing venture. Apathy was evident again this year. The Winter Carnival attracted 22 people. Sue Johnson of the Leisure Education department called it a “flop” and said that the department would never organize another one. SA elections didn’t attract much attention either. During both the fall by-elections and the ones held last week, there were problems getting enough candidates and voter turn out was poor also. The SA also had one president resign – Steve Ellis. Ellis cited political reasons such as the support staff strike and the SA board’s position on it.
“The board is more concerned with ski trips and pubs than it is with the important issue such as tuition increases, underfunding and student assistance,” Ellis said after his resignation. Appointed president John Ehlebracht hung onto his seat in the election last week. As part of his campaign he promised to motivate the board better than it has in the past. That wasn’t the only new president at the college this year. Bev McCauley started his first term as college president this year after Doug Light resigned last spring. In an interview with ASYLUM last fall, McCauley stated that a president “should be an educator” and that he would “stack Centennial up against any other college.”
Another positive note was the formation of the college band. Band leader David Craig feels that if it goes over big it could result in a full time music course at Centennial. Centennial also launched a unique magazine last fall – the Canadian Women’s Journal. The magazine is jointly funded by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and Centennial. Printed in both English and French, the magazine deals with topics of interest to today’s women. The women’s movement also made their presence felt when the Bauered Wives were cancelled at pub in February. There were threats of the pub being picketed because the band was considered · to be advocating violence against women. Because the support staff strike was going on also, Bud Rampton felt it was better to cancel the band and avoid any major problems.
Students will also be digging deeper in their pocketbooks this fall. Tuition fees were increased by S 10 a semester by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. Student activity fees also went up S1.25 per semester. Students on OSAP will remember the problems with the program last fall. Many loans and grants arrived late. By the end of last November the college had over $20,000 outstanding in loans to students still waiting for their assistance from OSAP. At .the time Christine Wolch, Student Awards Officer at Centennial, blamed the “extremely complicated computer programming of the applications” as the fault. “They can’t seem to get it to work the way they want it to work,” Wolch said. Centennial became a full time member of the Ontario Federation of Students last fan after a referendum was held. Since that time the question of membership has been up in the air. An extra fee was to be charged to each student for OFS membership this semester. Then SA president Steve Ellis had presented a brief to the college Board of Governors to obtain permission for the collection of such fees. The SA board subsequently withdrew the request from the Board of Governors.
up in the air
The OFS membership is still up in the air as a result. SA president John Ehlebracht states that another referendum might be staged next fall to see if the students still want to remain members of the organization The ASYLUM had its problems also this year. Problems with advertising resulted in the paper being cutback to a by-weekly publication. This is the last issue of the paper for this year, so from the staff, have a good summer.