Quality plebiscite

By Stephanie Shewchuk

The plebiscite question in the upcoming Students’ Union General Election may define where the $2 million in quality money from the University of Calgary administration might be allocated.

SU President Bryan West explained there are three areas currently being considered for funding. Quality enhancement largely consists of improving the U of C’s rank among other schools, which would include splitting overcrowded classes, increasing research efforts, and enhancing library acquisitions.

The area of capital projects includes the construction of more study space and the possibility of a greater student commons.

The third area is concerned with tuition relief, with funding designated for bursaries, rebates, and tuition grants.

West believes the plebiscite will help the SU gauge how the money should be spent, by revealing what students believe is important, although he cites the creation of a large student commons as a priority.

“This is one of the ways we can switch from the current mall-like atmosphere to a more student-friendly space,” said West. “It could be more like a sort-of permanent That Empty Space.”

As the results of the plebiscite are non-binding, the SU will ultimately decide where the quality money will be spent. However, West feels Tuesday’s announcement by the Klein government will have a marked impact on the SU’s decision.

“The announcement last night will definitely change some of the ideas,” explained West. “We have to take into account the new tuition freeze, as well as the extra money from the province.”