Backup plan for Ramadan

By Natalie Sit

A contingency plan is now in place to accommodate Muslim students for 2004’s Ramadan if the multi-faith prayer space is not open in time.

According to Students’ Union Vice-President Operations and Finance Gavin Preston, the Shirley Anastasia Robertson Lounge will be available, perhaps at a reduced price.

"If a certain event is applied to [be waived] by five clubs, and it’s a month-long event, we might say we’ll waive it," said Preston at the Tue., Jan. 20 Student Legislative Council meeting.

According to Sameh Ahmad, President of the Palestinian Canadian Students’ Society, the resolution resolved other issues.

"We have postponed our human rights case," said Ahmad, refer-encing a complaint the Muslim Students’ Association filed last year. "We’d like to thank Gavin Preston and the SU for passing this resolution."

Preston also discussed new procedures for room waivers.

"The idea is to budget for waiving fees in the financial section," said Preston. "The Clubs Committee could have certain deadlines to apply for waiver and [SLC] could approve them."

A related issue is waiving fees for 2003 Ramadan room bookings. The MSA owes the SU approximately $3,000 in fees, however, the MSA has some concerns with the bill. The Clubs Committee originally declined the MSA’s request to waive the rooms.

Ahmad said the Pakistani Students’ Society, the Yemeni Students’ Association, the PCSS, the Indian Students’ Association and C-PIRG donated their two free monthly room bookings to the MSA last November, which was included in the original decision. But they’re bringing the issue back to Clubs Committee.

Preston stressed he wants to make room waivers more fair for groups.

"It’s not like currency," he said. "I’m not optimistic [it will be waived]. It might drop a bit, but it needs to be equal."

Preston said waiving club fees will be discussed more in future SLC meetings.

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