May 2, 2002

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Board disrupted
A standoff over backpacks and recording equipment prevented the board of governors from holding its regularly scheduled meeting at the Halpern centre on April 25. Anticipating the potential for a noisy disruption similar to the one that led to an abbreviated March meeting, deputy board chair Jack Kowarsky ruled that while the meeting would remain an open meeting, visitors would be asked to leave bags and recording equipment in another room. Approximately 25 students, on hand to protest the notice of motion on tuition policy for 2002-03, objected to the ruling and blocked members of the board from entering the building to hold the meeting. Following an adjournment, members of the board dispersed and reconvened at another location to carry on with the meeting.

Tuition policy
The bulk of the meeting was devoted to the filing of a notice of motion regarding increases to tuition fees for the fall semester. In general the motion calls for increases of about 30 per cent for both undergraduate and graduate level courses with higher differential increases in some professional graduate programs as well as in 200-level and above courses in the faculty of business administration, and the schools of computing science and engineering science.

The board papers note that the recommended increases will still see SFU tuition remaining significantly below the national average, but go on to say that the university's high priority on maintaining student access and diversity means 25 per cent of the increase will be directed toward student assistance. The full notice of motion and accompanying background papers can be found on the web at The board will debate and vote on the motion at its May meeting.

The board also considered two motions submitted by board member Jonathan Silveira on behalf of the Simon Fraser student society. The first called for the board to establish a task force to investigate the impact of tuition levels on accessibility and to draft principles and policies to be followed in the decision making process. Citing concerns about diminishing the role of the board in deciding matters of policy, SFU President Michael Stevenson introduced the following amended motion. “That the board of governors mandate the finance and administration committee to investigate the impact of tuition levels on accessibility and to review the principles involved in current recommendations for changes in tuition.” The amended motion carried. The second motion was a resolution to maintain tuition fees at the current level until a proper tuition policy had been adopted by the university. That motion was defeated.

Universal transit pass
The board passed a motion to continue negotiations with Translink, and through active cooperation with the student society, develop a proposal for a universal transit pass (U-Pass). Student approval for the proposal must be secured through a referendum.

High-speed internet in residence
The board has approved the installation of high-speed internet connections for all single residence accommodation at SFU. The service, with a monthly fee of $26.99 (plus tax), will be implemented in September.

Administrative appointments
The board approved four administrative appointments at its April meeting. Appointed to three-year terms beginning Sept. 1, 2002 are Frank Gobas as director of the school of resource and environmental management, Lucy LeMare as director of undergrad programs in education and Alex Clapp as chair of the department of geography. Also beginning Sept. 1, Mehrdad Saif is appointed to a five-year term as director of the school of engineering science.

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