On May 23, the Students’ Union decided to rejoin the University of Calgary Coalition for Reinvestment. This move is regarded as positive by the Faculty Association and Administration. However, the SU and Administration have not agreed on how to use additional provincial funding to post-secondary education if it does come in, which was one of the reasons the SU pulled out of CORE in February.
President of the University of Calgary Faculty Association Anne Stalker looks forward to working with the SU
"CORE is a far stronger coalition with SU involvement," said Stalker.
SU Vice-president External Duncan Wojtaszek agrees.
"It means that we are part of a powerful lobby group, that CORE is now truly representative of the university community," he said.
The SU, TUCFA and other members of CORE agreed to spend any increase to the base operating grants on student finances, faculty retention, student-to-faculty proportions and infrastructure. However, university administration is not being specific about any formula for new funding.
"[This move] prevents the provincial government from playing one group against another," said Wojtaszek. "Working together should help increase the base operating grant the university receives."
CORE wants the SU to have an impact on its proposal to the provincial funding review committee, which will be submitted on June 2. According to Wojtaszek, this is one of the reasons the SU rejoined CORE The coalition hopes provincial government will listen to it because it represents the entire university now the SU is once again a member.
"This move gives the SU a voice in CORE and makes the organization representative of undergraduates," said Wojtaszek.
CORE’s goal of increased government funding and reduced tuition is furthered by the SU’s membership. However, according to Wojtaszek it is hard to say what CORE will achieve at this point.
"The SU knows what the priorities of the university community are, and the SU wants to help the university community achieve these priorities," he said.
U of C President Dr. Terry White is also pleased with the SU’s decision despite the disagreement on spending priorities.
"We all have so many common concerns that being able to speak with one voice publicly about those concerns is very advantageous and makes our messages more compelling," says White. "To have the undergraduate student voice represented through the SU is a vital element in any success that CORE will have."
The use of any new money would be addressed by tuition consultation, adds White.
"We are not aware of any new base operating money coming in."