UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Feb 12, 1981

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Array Students hit
gov't job cut
Students are outraged at the provincial government for cutting back
5,000 summer jobs including 1,500
specifically meant for students.
Student council Wednesday passed a motion to write a letter of protest to the provincial government
while a B.C. Federation of Students
spokesperson charged the government with deliberately keeping
lower income students out of post-
secondary institutions.
The council motion instructed the
Alma Mater Society external affairs
office to write the letter, which will
carry a promise of further action if
the government ignores the protest.
"I have no intention of sitting
idle while they cut that money out
of student hands," external affairs
officer-elect James Hollis said Wednesday.
"The provincial government
must be made aware that it's a serious matter. We have no definite
plans (beyond the letter) as yet, but
we intend to lobby them for sure,"
he said.
The job cuts also came under fire
from BCSF executive officer Steve
"It's intolerable," he said Wednesday.
"Last summer, the unemployment rate among students was as
high as 19.5 per cent. Combined
with higher tuition fees and no student aid changes, it's clear that the
provincial government has a policy
of keeping lower income students
out of school," said Shallhorn.
Virginia Greene, the director of
the employment opportunities program, denied the charge. "I don't
think he'd get much agreement
from the provincial government on
that," she said.
"I think it may be difficult for
students to find jobs in the provincial government. But while the
Work in Government program has
been cancelled, there are still several
other summer job opportunities in
the public job market," said
Greene reported that the government will fund the creation of only
11,000 jobs this year as compared
with 16,000 in 1980. Besides the
1,500 jobs that have been cut from
the cancellation of the student
Work in Government program, the
other 3,500 cutbacks will take place
in the areas of non-profit organizations and private sectors.
Greene said the provincial government will fund fewer positions in
the private sector, but for a longer
time, and that funding of nonprofit organizations has been discontinued because they wish to
avoid double funding a traditionally federally funded area.
Greene added the government
will be directing more funds towards creating job programs for
handicapped people. No details as
to how much exactly the provincial
government will be adding and subtracting from programs will be
known until the budget is released
in late March or early April.
Dick Shirran, director of the student counselling and resources centre, said he does not anticipate any
cuts for funding summer student research projects.
Hollis was concerned the cutbacks will reduce accessibility to
UBC. "I have to find out what students will be losing those jobs. It
could preclude some students from
returning to the university next
"The action of the provincial
government is a severe oversight,
and they must be made aware of the
consequences to rethink their
course of action," Hollis said.
Shallhorn was bitter. "I think it
shows a major contradiction on the
part of the Socred government
when they go around talking about
the 'work ethic? and then go and
cut back 5,000 summer jobs," he
Council okays
CITR society
A low power FM broadcasting license is all but guaranteed for
CITR, the campus radio station, after Wednesday's student council
CITR now meets the Canadian
Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission requirements
for application for the last remaining low power channel in Vancou-
Council Briefs
But the motions to provide CITR
with the necessary qualifications
were not passed without opposition.
Len Clarke, Alma Mater Society
finance director, tried to table a
motion agreeing in principle to provide CITR with $40,000 a year because the station's budget was
And external affairs coordinator
Al Soltis chastised the station's
staff for not approaching council
"You're putting us in a really
tight spot," he said. The project
was being railroaded through council because, although council had
little time to decide on the issue,
"there's no way we could .say
'no? " Soltis said.
Council approved in principle the
constitution of the UBC Radio Society. The society will be formed by
council, but must be guaranteed to
have all-Canadian membership in
order to meet the CRTC's requirements.
Council also approved in principle to fund about $40,000 to the
station for the first four years of its
CITR must now get provincial
government approval as a society
and then go before CRTC. When
CITR gets the license, it will be able
to broadcast all over Vancouver.
•     *     *
Council continues to hold SUB's
east alcove as a hostage to ensure
See page 2: BCPIRG
— Stuart davis photo
FIVE BIZARRE dancers, all in a row, from front to back they all seem to grow. What are they doing, where are
they from? They're from a dance troupe called Prism. Web-handed dancer in front displays dexterity, impersonating Popeye's pals, the goons. But one person's goon is another's dancer, as Prism showed in SUB ballroom
noon Tuesday. Troupe will continue tour of seedy Vancouver theatres when they return from twilight zone.
SUB vote inches to quorum
If students continue to vote at the
current rate, the SUB renovations
referendum should reach 'quorum'
in this week's voting. But so far
there may be more students opposing the proposal than supporting it.
According to a representative of
the Alma Mater Society, about 200
people voted on Monday and 1,100
on Tuesday.
What is 'quorum'? Quorum, as
outlined in the AMS bylaws, means
that in order for any referendum to
pass, a total of 10 per cent (about
2,300 students) of the day population at UBC must be in favor of the
proposal, and a majority of
favorable voters must also exist.
For example, if only 2,300
students voted, 100 per cent would
have to be in favor for the referen-
Autonomy for McGill rag?
MONTREAL (CUP) — The McGill Daily has moved one step closer to autonomy. The proposal which
was approved at council meeting Feb. 4 will be put to a
referendum in a month's time.
The new system will establish a publications society
governed by a board of directors. The board will be
composed of four student representatives chosen in
campus-wide elections and three representatives
elected by the Daily staff.
The change would make the Daily legally and editorially autonomous from the student society.
"The idea of separating the press from government
is important," said student society president Todd Du-
Opposition to the proposal came from law representative to council Ted Claxton who said he opposed
the move because he believed more restrictions should
be placed on the board of directors. "Just because it's
legal doesn't mean it's democratic," he said.
But another councillor disagreed. "We have to believe that the people (on the board) will try to do their
best and it's our responsibility to give students a
chance to vote on this," music representative Liz Norman said.
Arts representative Sean Mcalister said he was worried no students would want to serve on the board.
Council executive member Terry Anderson saw it
"The Daily arouses some passion in the student
body. People are interested. They may not like the
Daily but they're interested," he said.
dum to pass. If 5,000 vote, than it's
still 2,300 in favor to achieve
quorum and 2,501 (50 per cent plus
one) in favor to pass.
Students opposing the referendum gave a variety of reasons
Wednesday for their position.
"The students should first decide
whether or not to pay the $15 next
year. If they pass that, then they
should vote on proposed
spending," said Marion Yas, grad
studies. She said she voted 'no' to
both issues.
Mike Sanford, architecture 2,
said the proposed renovations "will
(not) support the participation and
interaction of students, except as
While the students vote on
whether to spend the $1 million on
SUB renovations, the proposal is
already costing them a significant
amount. AMS administration director Craig Brooks said Wednesday
the advertising for the referendum
has already run up a bill of $2,200
in addition to architects' fees and
other related costs.
Brooks urged all students to vote
in the referendum. Voting continues today and Friday at polling
stations across campus. Page 2
Thursday, February 12,1961
BCPIRG to go to referendum
From page 1
adequate space for student social
The administration wants to lease
the alcove from the AMS for cafeteria renovations, but council is using the space as a negotiating tool.
It appeared students and administration had reached an agreement
on leasing the space several weeks
ago, but council members say they
are dissatisfied with the administration's attitude toward students using the armories and War Memorial
Gym for social functions.
The issue was thought to be resolved when former administration
vice-president Eric Vogt said in a
letter to council the armories and
gymnasium would be readily available for student.use.
But external affairs coordinator
Al Soltis said "no pieces of paper
are worth anything from Dr.
Vogt," after receiving several student complaints about difficulty in
booking the facilities. Council
The AMS executive will continue
to negotiate with the administration
Dialogues on
Thursday, Feb. 12
Session 5 of a nine-part series on
some of the issues of development  which  include  speaker*,
films and discussion groups.
Fae: $1.00 par aasalon
Speaker: Dr. John Conway
will talk on his recent trip to
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and will report back to council
two weeks.
Council narrowly passed a resolution to support the establishment
of the British Columbia public interest research group.
The motion came after BCPIRG
representatives presented plans for
the student-run organization to
Council's major concerns were
over how BCPIRG would spend the
nearly $150,000 refundable levy to
be collected from students and how
the organization would be structured.
BCPIRG is currently circulating a
petition on campus to force the
AMS to hold a referendum requesting that a $5 refundable fee be levied on all full time UBC students.
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TUESDAY, FEB. 17, 1981-12:30-1:45 p.m.
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Sociology, UBC.
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Enquiries: 228-2415
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Editor(s) For
DEADLINE: T.B.A. Thursday, February 12,1981
Page 3
'Gay lawyers still face barriers'
Although the gay movement has
made many strides in the law profession, there still exist subtle barriers to homosexuals who want to
become lawyers, a gay Vancouver
lawyer said Wednesday.
"If you're going to be a gay lawyer, a liberal lawyer, you're going to
have to limit your choices," Ken
Smith told about 30 people at noon
in Law 169.
Smith, a Vancouver lawyer, said
although active discrimination in
the legal profession against gays is
unusual, the situation in Canada
"clearly isn't a dreamland."
"The (law) profession does ignore the issue of homosexuality,"
he said.
But he said sometimes gay lawyers seeking employment with a law
firm may encounter discriminatory
attitudes in questionnaires.
"(What) we're dealing with,"
Smith said, "(is) conservative, rather right-wing elements in the profession."
"The  extent  of tolerance  (of
gays) remains undefined and I think
undefinable," said Doug Sanders, a
law professor at UBC and a member of the panel at the lecture.
Sanders told the audience that in
most cases, law societies do not inquire about member's sexual orientation, although the Law Society
of B.C.'s entry questionnaire asks
for information that may reveal a
person's homosexuality. The questions asked by the Law Society of
B.C. are the most stringent in Canada, he said.
"I'm not aware of any (law)
society which asks whether a member is gay or not," he said. There is
a "screening process" to determine
if a potential member has "good
character," but only those who are
"dope smokers and drunks" meet
with any resistance, he joked.
Sanders said he was a gay anti-
draft activist during the 1960s and
'70s and was afraid that "the fact
that I was gay may hinder my political activities."
B-LOT BLUES strike once again to sadsack Datsun. Gift wrapped for
Valentine's Day, car was mistaken for new strain of tree, carbonolus
monoxidus. Student gave car wide berth but others, taking it for bushy
area, proceeded to mincturate on freshly seeded auto. Quasi cops; attemp-
—aeons ban-Irving photo-
ted to resolve situation by towing errant quadriped, but deep roots and
thick bark stopped them. New trend in auto accessories is not expected to
catch on, though strapped students may opt for toilet paper to keep cars
Alberta students rap task force report
EDMONTON (CUP) — The recently released federal provincial
task force report on student assistance is a disappointment to Alberta
students, and does not answer their
concerns, say Federation of Alberta
Students (FAS) representatives.
The task force was formed last
year by the council of ministers of
education of Canada, which consists of all 10 provincial ministers. It
was to investigate and review the
student aid program in Canada and
report back by last fall.
But the report, which was releas
ed Jan. 27, does not address many
of the aspects of student aid that it
was supposed to, according to FAS.
In addition, it does not judge the
success of the various provincial
student aid programs, FASi said.
"We are disappointed," said
Lorraine Mitchell, FAS executive
"It doesn't recommend any specific funding arrangements," she
said. "It doesn't specifically review
the provincial programs."
Alberta   advanced   education
minister Jim Horsman, as well as
Demo for dollars
WINNIPEG (CUP) — University
of Manitoba president Ralph
Campbell is concerned that a
demonstration Jan. 15 by University of Winnipeg students influenced
the government's funding decisions
for next year.
In an interview with the U of M
student newspaper, the Manitoban,
Campbell said he sent a letter to the
provincial university funding body
asking if the demonstration influenced their decision.
The U of W demonstration involved 800 students who marched
on the provincial legislature protesting past funding restraints to
Manitoba's three universities.
Three days later the provincial
funding body announced funding
increases to the universities for next
The U of W received the highest
increase — 16.4 per cent over this
year's funding. U of M received only a 13 per cent increase.
"I'd hate to think the U of W
received so much more just because
of the demonstration," Campbell
"The letter I sent was not a bitter
letter," he added. "I just want to
hear what the reasons are behind
this wide variance."
most of his counterparts, has been
delaying changes to Alberta's student aid program until seeing the
task force report. But since the report does not make any recommendations, Horsman will not be
able to base changes on it.
"Now we'll be pressing for some
action," said Kris Farkas, FAS executive member and University of
Alberta student union officer.
Mitchell also complained that
neither the Alberta government nor
the student finance board made a
submission to the task force.
"On the one hand, they said they
would wait for the results of the
task force (before making student
aid changes)," she said. "And then
we find out they haven't even submitted a brief."
Horsman was in Britain and unable to comment.
FAS is planning to intensify its
lobby for a province-wide access
study to determine what factors dictate whether students continue from
high school to university.
In the past, Horsman has called
this idea "an airy-fairy thing."
However, he has moderated his position recently, according to FAS
fieldworker Anne McGrath.
"Now he^.bfceri.taikitigaoouLir.
being under review," McGrath
said. "Our lobby has been effective."
The B.C. Students Federation is
also disappointed with the report.
"We're disappointed because the
task force falls short of recommending any federal grants or real
change in the program," BCSF executive officer Steve Shallhorn said
last week.
"There has to be a grant program
instituted at the federal level."
"Most gay academics are closeted today," he said.
"I have no idea how many of my
colleagues think or know that I'm
gay, and I don't think I'll ever
Gary Cohn, a third-year law student at UBC and a panel member,
said gay students should not be
"concerned with entering the UBC
law graduate society."
"The main source of our repression (is) our own fears," he said.
Some "gay people feel uncomfortable about their sexuality."
Overall, Smith, Sanders and
Cohn are optimistic about prospects for gays who want to enter the
law profession. "If you choose to
be a gay lawyer, I have no hesitation in thinking you can be a successful lawyer," Smith said, but added, "there are many lawyers who
are gay, but very few are gay lawyers."
TAs, admin
sign memo
The Teaching Assistants' Union
and the UBC administration have
reached agreement and signed a
memorandum ensuring the TAU of
a contract in March.
The memorandum of agreement,
signed Monday, means the union
will get its first contract after the
union membership, on Tuesday,
and the board of governors, on
March 3, ratify it. The contract will
not contain the security clause the
union had actively sought.
The bargaining unit defeated a
vote leading to strike action last
month after the contract negotiations with the administration broke
down over the union security
The clause would have made
union membership mandatory for
any TA hired unless the TA rejected
membership in writing. Without the
clause the union will have to mount
continual recruiting drives in the
constantly changing TA work
The memorandum signed by the
union and the administration is a
form of preliminary contract, and
includes all clauses which had been
negotiated before the strike vote.
Robert Grant, director of
employee relations at UBC, is confident both sides will ratify the contract.
"There's nothing in the agreement that I think is offensive to
either side. I think the TAs will be
interested in getting the money," he
said Wednesday.
"The new rates are comparable
to those of the other universities; we
(UBC) are not at the bottom of the
heap," Grant said. "The mood of
both sides on Monday was
Union negotiators were not
available for comment.
'Don't ask us'
HALIFAX (CUP) -— The administration at Mount Saint Vincent
University is denying all responsibility for student health in light of
reports of improper use and storage of chemicals used in the construction of a university building.
Speaking at a student council meeting Jan. 30, Michael Merrigan, executive assistant to the president, said, "It's not the administration's
problem, it's the contractor's problem."
The chemical, Plad-270, is being used on the gym floor of the Rosaria
centre. It releases toxic fumes which may be harmful to people who
must pass through the construction site to reach other areas of the campus.
"I'm not an expert in this area," Merrigan said, adding the construction was "perfectly within the wishes of the department of labor."
Student council vice president Andrea Gibb stressed the importance
of proper storage of the chemical.
Merrigan was asked what responsibility the university administration
would take in the event of an explosion.
^ "T-hft/'ifkiiid,^f.qu<pripn . . . one should, never ask it,".hc replied^ Page 4
Thursday, February 12,1981
Goodbye to SUB Socreds
It's time to say goodbye to the
Alma Mater Society executive of
1960-81: Bruce Armstrong, president; Marlea Haugan, vice president; Len Clarke, finance director;
Craig Brooks, administration director; and Alan Soltis, external affairs
We'll leave the latter out of the
discourse for the time being
because we haven't seen him for a
while and we suspect he has good
reasons, somewhat similar to the
thoughts we are about to present,
why he has made himself scarce.
We are sad when we look back at
what has been written in these
pages about the four, not because
we regret what was said; rather we
deeply regret what was not said.
It's the libel laws. So much has
been excluded that the students
should have known.
Less drunken law students will
remember that even if a person
prints the truth and is sued for libel,
the truth is not an adequate defense
against the suit should it be shown
the writer or printer of the truth had
malicious intent.
And oh yes, we are malicious. It's
our middle name.
Of course, we could have printed
whatever we wanted about any of
the above Gang of Four. A libel suit
against The Ubyssey, even in the
never-never land of student court,
would have also been a libel suit
against the AMS.
This wouldn't happen if The
Ubyssey was autonomous. But it
isn't. The AMS, by the grace of
God, through Her Majesty the
Queen, her representative the
Lieutenant-Govenor of B.C. and
the Societies Act of B.C. the Left
Gov signed in her name, is the
publisher of The Ubyssey.
If we printed the ugly truth and
an AMS executive member sued, it
would make a lovely comic opera.
The titled twit might have to name
his or herself as defendant in the
suit; the entire liability would lie on
sub ?Ut* #*±k
v£   u6t5*V
Gay undignified
In the SUB lounge on Tuesday, Feb. 10, an altercation took place between a known heterosexual and a representative of the gay club.
The basic incident went as follows: the het went over to the gay booth
and took a couple of buttons. When he returned to his seat, the gay rep
approached the het and requested the buttons back. When the het refused, the gay representative got quite heated and some heavy words were
exchanged between the two.
It is important here to point out that the gay rep was becoming extremely aggressive and loud whereas the het was quite calm and collected. The gay rep was succeeding in turning a petty little disagreement
into an ugly scene.
When the het placed the buttons in the garbage can, the gay rep fished
them out, firing garbage on the het. When a pop can hit the het, he picked it up and touched it to the top of the gay reps head, said, "Don't
fuck around," then dropped it into the garbage can. During this, the
gay rep was on the verge of a tantrum.
Upon leaving, he called all the people in the surrounding group
"scum of the earth" while issuing some undiscernable verbiage on
human dignity.
When all had calmed down and everyone went back to talking,
another incident started up grabbing the attention of all the SUB
dwellers; the police had been called and it looked like the het was being
arrested. The het refused to go unless the policewoman let go of his
jacket and informed him of the charge. The charge stated was assault
and theft. After some more heated discussion, the officer handcuffed
the het and hauled him off.
The point of this piece is not to engage in a tit for tat brawl with the
UBC gay club nor try to slam them for simply being homosexuals, but
to offer some advice.
The gay representative did not conduct himself in a dignified fashion.
I don't necessarily agree with what the het did, but at least he conducted
himself with reserve. In a week that is designated as gay week, the gay
rep succeeded in substantiating old prejudices that gays are catty, reactionary and far too theatrical.
Since no blows were thrown and nothing stolen, the charges of assault
and theft seem a bit unreasonable. The charge should have been ridicule
with intent to embarrass; I believe that this is not a felony.
If gays want to get a better image (a goal that would seem obvious in
gay week), I would suggest the gay club put that rep back in the closet
and go for reps that can take a bit of harassment; it's inevitable that
they'll encounter some along the way.
Name withheld by request
physical education 4
the AMS since The Ubyssey consists of unsalaried students whose
assets are naught but cancelled student loan forms. The AMS sues
The Ubyssey, the AMS wins, and
the AMS pays. Gorgeous.
We are civilized, however. Never
once has The Ubyssey in 63 years
put itself in a position where it has
been successfully sued for libel. By
anyone. Not even when we've had
types like the outgoing AMS executive for sitting ducks.
It is true that, since all of the
Socreds on the second floor of
SUB but Haugan are no longer on
the executive, we can now have at
them without quarter and let the
courts judge the hindmost. But
again, we are civilized, and
deliberate libel where it does not
serve the students we work for is
beneath our dignity. Nor will we be
cruel enough to let them make
more complete fools of themselves
in responding to one of our biting
Instead, in bidding the past AMS
executive goodbye, we would like
to stress to our readers that the
beginning taking place this month,
with a new executive elected and
council elections in each faculty
coming soon, is the true beginning
of the year in student government.
There's more than six weeks (0
save usl) left of classes. Now that
you've gotten used to the leaden
hours of fluorescent classes, you've
measured the currents of thought
on campus and you've seen the
directions taken by your student
\ -   \ \
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!.-. -t4?!,:"' $§m:m
,.niQ'1 —h
SUB CouRTyArtk-**
government; now's the time to tell
those people who administer hundreds of thousands of dollars in student money how you want that
money spent, what kind of principles they should follow in serving
you and how much you appreciate
it when they make fundamental
decisions without consulting you.
The decisions you will have to
make are coming sooner than you
think. You've already elected next
year's executive.
Goodbye, EMI. Hello, A&M.
Gay engineer speaks out
Homosexuality and engineering.
Are these terms mutually exclusive?
The engineers might have you think
so, and the naive might have believed them. I feel it is fitting during
gay week at UBC that I dispel this
myth, and relate some of my views.
My being gay was no impediment
to entering engineering simply because I saw engineering as being a
smart faculty to be in, and I didn't
really care about the reputation by
and large, because much of what
they do is harmless enough. But engineers are notorious for, among
other things, putting down gays.
"They're all in arts" is a common
notion, and gays are often referred
to in a derogatory manner in such
events as the annual songfEUSt.
Perhaps the engineers really
thought that all gays were in arts,
but this is no excuse at all to insult
all gays on campus through numerous uncouth remarks. The engineers gain a lot of credibility on campus through their help for various
charities, but when they then turn
around and refuse to be charitable
to their fellow students, their credibility drops somewhat. I don't
think the percentage of gays in engineering is much different from
that in any other faculty on campus. About five per cent of the general population is gay (Kinsey), and
gays are fairly evenly distributed in
all professions. Needless to say,
there are also gay profs on campus.
As for myself, I chose last year to
"come out," i.e. not hide the fact
that I'm gay. This doesn't mean going around trumpeting the fact but
it does mean raising a fuss if I feel
I'm being stepped on.
A time has to come when each
person sets his or her own standards. I can understand how some
people naturally fit into society's
mold, and there's nothing wrong
with that as long as it's the result of
a decision not just passive resignation.
People who do not fit into society's mold are sometimes given a rather rough time, but usually only by
those who never bother to think
about their actions. I have straight
friends in engineering who know
I'm gay, and it doesn't make any
difference to them whether I'm gay
or not.
When you come down to it,
chances are everyone has gay
friends. People often don't realize
this because they don't see any
limp-wristed types around them.
These people should consider that
the above behavior is not typical of
gays; being gay simply means being
attracted to members of the same
Why people feel afraid or threatened by this is beyond me. Gays
don't jump on people in back alleys; by and large they suppress
their feelings so as not to "offend"
others. Some people are against
gays because their interpretation of
the Bible dictates it.
These people are just using the
Bible to justify the way they feel.
There is no unique interpretation of
the Bible, but these people think
there is.
Still other people are against
homosexuality because it's not
"normal." They say, "Just about
everyone's heterosexual. Heterosexual sex is normal." If heterosexual sex is normal simply because
more people do it, then masturbation is even more normal because
it's the number one sexual activity.
Compared to masturbation, heterosexual sex is "abnormal!"
Gay week at UBC is not just for
gays; it's for anyone who would like
to gain a better understanding of
their gay friends or for anyone who
wants to see how "evil" homosexuality really is. Public awareness is
one of the biggest functions of such
a week.
Of interest to students might be
the two movies being shown in
Buch. 202 today (Thursday), and
also the talk being given by NDP
MP Svend Robinson in SUB 205 on
Friday. Happy gay week!
Name withheld by request
applied science 4
February 12,1981
Published Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays throughout the
university year by the Alma Mater Society of the University of
B.C. Editorial opinions are those of the staff and not of the
AMS or the university administration. Member, Canadian
University Press. The Ubyssey's editorial office is in room
241K of the Student Union Building. Editorial departments,
228-2301; Advertising, 228-3977.
Editor: Verne McDonald
Little Brad Clarkaon and waa Saona Ball-Irving wara ao happy. "Jingle beHe, jingle berk," thay
choruaad in high, equeaky voicaa, than with tiny Nancy Campbell and wtddle Eric Eggertaon they ran
to tha cloak room at the back of the otfie to get their mittena on. Glen Sanford. Haaaok Chang and
Shaffin Shariff caught anowflakee on their tonguea, the ahowoffa, while Verne McDonald made a
miniature anowman on a bit of mirror -like ice. Arnold Hedatrom triad to enow Arne Hamann about how
he'd once won a anowball fight with Doug Martin. Stuart Devil took juat tone of pix of the wonderful
•now celebration, but thay all came out white and then the fucking car got atuck, then it nearly goddamn alid right through a little old lady trying to croaa Blanca Street end who needa that white ahh
V. Thursday, February 12,1981
Page 5
Stan Persky will roar and win in 1984
It's customary, these days, for
second-place finishers in political
contests to go off and brood in Hawaii, Plains, Ga., or some other
paradisiacal landscape.
As much as I would like to be in
the swim of current traditional
styles, come Monday morning I will
not be ogling surfers in Maui or
conversing with breastroking rabbits who speak in a slow southern
drawl. Instead, as usual, I'll be in a
classroom-hut on the slopes of Mt.
Benson in Nanaimo with the students of Sociology 122, discussing
the nature of capitalist society.
(We're presently wrapping up an investigation of how culture — specifically, rock music — is produced,
and on Monday, we'll be poking into such esoteric details as the content of Billy Joel's mind and the
phenomenon of the B-52s.) Worse,
I won't even be brooding.
Aside from the fact that I'm not
very good at brooding, considering
that I just achieved 31 per cent of
the vote in the 1981 UBC chancellorship race (a slight increase over
my 1978 showing), there doesn't
seem to be much to brood about.
(Of course, a few party-poopers will
pull out their pocket calculators and
determine that, at my present rate
of increase, I won't become chancellor until 2011, not noticing that
they've fallen into the statistical fallacy of not taking into account the
"temper of the times" as a variable
in their computations.)
Given the temper of the times,
running as an opposition candidate
for the UBC chancellorship is something like standing for the NDP in
an Alberta provincial election. As
long as Alberta or UBC continues
to produce fool's gold, it will be an
uphill task.
Nonetheless, just to show I'm a
good sport, I'll try to find something to brood about before launching my 1984 campaign drive. I was
being interviewed on local television
and while waiting for the interviewer to ask her questions (which
consisted of five or six elaborate
ways of asking, "Why shouldn't
the rich and powerful run UBC?"),
we were treated to a little documentary about the history of the
UBC chancellorship and some stu-
dent-on-the-mall reactions to the
current campaign.
As the portraits of previous chancellors flashed before our eyes,
commentary was provided by a
UBC archivist. One of her remarks
stayed in mind. As we gazed at the
mug of a chancellor of the late '60s
(whose major distinction, as I recall, was to be the owner of the largest bread factory in town), the archivist noted, with approval, that
old so-and-so had provided "stability," and as a result UBC had
"suffered" comparatively little
from the "student unrest" of the
I must admit that I brooded for
at least 30 seconds over her use of
the word "suffered." Why not say:
as a result of the "suffocating" influence of the administration (of
which old so-and-so was a part),
UBC was "invigorated" comparatively little by "student unrest"
("unrest" is another of those words
that makes me brood)? Where does
she get off making such judgments?
Maybe the archivist is bucking for a
job in the history department.
The historical presentation was
followed by some on-the-mall interviews. After locating several students who cheerfully admitted that
they had no idea that a chancellorship election was in progress (television takes a sadistic delight in
demonstrating that people know
nothing), the camera settled on a
NEWS ITEM: Stan pe-Rsky^os rwdkau and ob.c ^oolht qcrn'isT tc r^n tor; own^llor of u.b.c.
chap bundled up in an expensive
overcoat, whose entire head was
covered with lots of hair and beard
in the middle of which was stuck a
Sherlock Holmes pipe upon which
he contentedly puffed through the
interview, delivering his answers
with the skill of a ventriloquist (in
order to avoid dislodging his personal chimney). Obviously a graduate student trying to impress his
thesis committee or a junior faculty
with an eye to tenure. His main ob-
versation was that he thought it
would be rather a bad thing if the
election were turned into a "Monty
Python" sort of affair.
While I mentally chalked up a
vote for my opponent, I experienced an instant of comic brooding. I
imagined that rather than being in
training as a pompous ass, he was
actually a comic uttering this perfectly appropriate line in the midst
of a Monty Python show.
As you can see, I'm not very
good at brooding. 4f there's anything   "Monty  Pythonish"  about
the present educational situation
(by which, 1 assume, our proto-prof
chap probably meant "inappropriately silly"), it's what goes on in
most pre- and post-secondary educational institutions in B.C.
Without revealing my entire 1984
campaign platform (which, alas,
will probably be much like my 1978
and 1981 platforms; in addition to
being a failure at brooding, I'm not
much of an innovator either), there
are one or two features of the educational situation worth noting.
For one thing, most of the people
who come out of the pre-secondary
system are unable to adequately
read, write, speak or think. About
three-quarters of those who escape
from Grade 12 are unable to write a
competent 500-word composition.
Worse, they are woefully ignorant
about how our society works.
(Since, as far as I can tell, they seem
to be intelligent, I assume there's
something wrong with the society
that makes them ignorant rather
than with them.)
Of course, once they get to post-
secondary institutions, we, the
teachers do the best we can, under
the circumstances. There is a certain
amount of measurable improvement. However, this is not terribly
comforting. For one thing, not very
many people get to post-secondary
institutions — certainly a smaller
percentage than do so in the U.S. or
in many other Canadian provinces.
Nor is there any provision for the
vast population of post-(tradi-
tional)-school-age working people
to participate in the extended discussions about contemporary society that post-secondary institutions
could provide.
For the happy few who are permitted to wander in these groves of
academe, an unhappy fate awaits
them. Apart from being given some
misguided ideas about why they're
here (usually a puffed-up professional version of the notion that education is purely job-training), they
are, at UBC, crammed into overly-
large classes during their first and
second years (the very time when
they're most in need of individual
All of us who are teachers know
perfectly well that you can't teach
40 or 50 people in a classroom. You
can, of course, lecture to them, and
some of us are pretty good at lecturing (and would feel perfectly comfortable lecturing to the 13,000
Canucks fans who show up at the
Pacific Coliseum; but then again, it
makes just as much sense to watch
it on TV, which is what I prefer to
do when it comes to the Canucks
and what Pat McGeer prefers to
have happen when it comes to
education). Naturally, given the
dominant corporate administrative
style available, we teachers seldom
say anything about this situation,
especially since "they" leave us
alone to do as we please in our individual classrooms (we call this
perversion "academic freedom.")
You notice that I haven't said
anything about whether the post-
secondary curriculum makes any
sense. I won't, because it would
take too long to describe the philosophical underpinnings involved in
making English 100 a "required"
course or showing those great-art-
slides in Fine Arts 125 (in order to
secure an adequate budget for the
teaching of art history in upper division courses).
Now, Mr. Chimney-Pipe-in-His-
Mouth thinks that raising such matters is Monty Pythonish. I don't
suppose I'll get his vote in 1984. He
thinks the present chancellor adequately symbolizes a desirable non-
Monty Pythonish state of affairs.
The reason I'm raising such matters
is because there are 7-8,000 of you
who will be eligible to vote in the
1984 chancellorship election who
might think that these issues are, indeed, appropriate to consider.
Stan Persky is a former Ubyssey
staffer among other things, many
other things, and will someday be
chancellor of UBC. Perspectives is
a column of analysis and opinion
open to all members and almost-
members of the university community.
Nude madness causes image problems
I am writing to protest about the
disturbing set of events which occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Those
events were a part of the agriculture
week celebrations.
To put it simply, we were all
peacefully absorbing some
biological concepts when suddenly
we were interrupted by some loud
and awful chanting. Then right
before our eyes about six to eight
males paraded in front of the class
and we were all subjected to some
disgusting low grade flashing (current terminology). After displaying
themselves for about a minute or
so, the aggies left. The reactions in
our class ranged from surprise and
shock to disgust, embarrassment
and amusement.
Such an event is all that is needed
to degrade the currently much admired status of UBC. I am disp-
pointed that no one from the staff
of UBC could prevent this event
from taking place. So far I have
heard of only one professor who
reacted sensibly to the situation. He
promptly turned off all the lights in
the classroom and shooed the aggies
In September I was proud to be a
part of UBC but since then my
views have changed, especially after
this event. At least the engineers
had the decency to warn us about
Lady Godiva and her entourage.
Those of us who did not want to
witness the happening had the
choice of staying away from that
area. This time I was not given the
choice of opting out from such an
event. Let me point out that I do
not believe in the policy of "all
work and no play". Such a policy is
quite unsuitable for our campus.
But all fun and games do have
limits — students should not be
subjected to such a breach of moral
and ethical values as a result of
these merriments.
Let me end with a warning to the
aggies for next year: I intend to be
armed with some oil cans of black
spray paint!
Name withheld by request
education 1
Farmworker to speak
Awards news
I noted some comments in the
Jan. 30 issue of The Ubyssey which
were attributed to AMS external affairs coordinator Al Soltis. As I am
sure he knows, any rollbacks in
Canada Student Loan Grants are
not as a result of any action taken
by the university. Rather, the
changes are made by the ministry of
education as a result of updated information on matters such as student earnings and savings, provided
by the students themselves.
I understand that while some stu
dents' awards were reduced as a result of the updated information,
other students had their awards increased. In some cases where
students have anticipated income
which has not actually materialized,
the adjusted awards may be reviewed and further amended. Students
who find themselves in this circumstance should make an appointment
to see one of the advisors in the
awards office.
Byron H. Hender, director
awards and financial aid
On Friday, Feb. 13 at 12:30 in
SUB 211, Charles Boylan, president
of the General Farm and Allied
Workers' Union, will speak.
The GFAWL is a militant trade
union, completely self-reliant,
which does not relv on the state or
any of the labor aristocracy for
financing or support. GFAWU is
organizing among the unorganized
workers, the farmworkers, the flyer
distributors and other sections of
the most oppressed and exploited of
the Canadian working class.
Boylan, a former AMS student
council representative and long time
activist in progressive causes, will
report on the struggles of the
GFAWU to organize these workers.
All people at UBC with a serious
interest in the struggle of the working class against its enemies are invited to attend this meeting of the
committee against racist and fascist
Alien H. Soroka
UBC committee against rascist
and fascist violence
The   Ubyssey
from all readers.
Although an effort is made to
publish all letters received, The
Ubyssey reserves the right to edit
letters for reasons of brevity, legality and taste.
Neatness counts. Page 6
Thursday, February 12,1961
'Tween classes
Seminar on how to write s successful letter,
noon, SUB 224.
Pick up science jackets. Bring 927, crests $7.50,
SUS office, east wing biology building.
Celebration service, noon, Chem. 250.
Career night, all welcome, 7:30 p.m., MacMillan
Lecture by Canadian artist Alex Wyse, noon,
Lasserre 102.
UBC Dietetics 4 presents a special luncheon with
your heart in mind, 11:30 a.m., SUB snack bar.
Valentine's Day party, for ad members and those
interested, full facilities and entertainment provided, 8 p.m. to midnight, Cecil Green Park.
Stammtisch. German conversational evening,
7:30 p.m.. International House 401.
Green door: An opportunity for students to interact with members of the business community
on an informal basis. Students from all faculties
welcome, 1:46 p.m., SUB upper floor.
Information for students in financial crisis, noon
to 2:30 p.m.. Speakeasy.
Annual general meeting, aH graduates please attend, noon. Hebb theatre.
General meeting, noon. SUB 230.
General meeting, noon, SUB 119.
Drop-in for co-rec voHeybeH, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m..
War Memorial Gym.
Organizational meeting for aH thoee going on the
snowshoe and cross-country ski trip to Manning
Pant on Saturday, noon, WMG 211.
The Shock of the New: a PBS-TV documentary
examines architecture from the Bauhaus, noon.
Library Processing 308.
Organizational meeting, noon. International
Houae lounge.
Jonathan Baylis speaks on International students, noon, SUB 125.
Gay week '8U with Canadian films JHI Johnston:
October 1975 and Michael, a Gay Son, noon to 2
p.m., Buch. 202.
Tha Petar Sellers' claaaic: Dr. Strangalove,
noon. SUB auditorium.
Informal drop-in, naw mambara walcoma, noon,
SUB 230A.
valentine's Day party, bzzr and w2na, D.J. and
Lights style danca. 7:30 p.m., SUB 207/209.
Chariaa Boylan, praaidant of Ganaral Farm and
Allied yVorkera' Union, apaaka on organizing tha
farmworkers, fryer dbjtributora and other unorganized workers, noon, SUB 211.
Valentine's dance, ticketa at box office, NUS or
EUS offices. 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., SUB ballroom.
Alt members welcome to attend the Chinees
painting daaa, 3 to 5 p.m., SUB 213.
General meeting and laet day to gat a diacount
on tickets for Valentine's, noon, SUB 119.
Lawyer Joanne Ranaon speaka on Rape and tha
lew, noon, SUB 130.
CVC ice skating party, 8:46 to 11 p.m.. Winter
Sports Centre.
General meeting, noon. International House
Men's and women's triumph run 15 km), no registration necessary, noon, Maclnnes field.
Marxiat literature and diacuasion, 11:30 a.m. to
1:30 p.m., SUB concourse.
Gay week '81, with NDP MP Svend Robinson —
parliamentary gay righta advocate — speaking,
noon, SUB 206.
Comic Robin Tyler in concert, 8 p.m., IRC 2.
Workahop with Robin Tyler, feminiat and gay
righta leader, 11:30 a.m., SUB 207/208.
Gay week '81 Valentine's dance, 9 p.m., Grad
Student Centra.
Economics series: The Disappearing Land, effects of urbanization on the Niagara Peninsula,
noon. Library Processing 308.
Discussion group on signs and mother whined,
noon, Lutheran Campus Centre.
Dave Barrett speaks, noon, SUB auditorium.
Sarge Guifbaut speaks on Shout and Silence,
Pollock's art of erasure, noon, Lasserre 104.
Celebration of world and sacrament, noon, Lutheran Campua Centre chapel.
Documentary: Word is Out: Stories of Some of
our lives, donation requested, noon, SUB bait-
BID Vander Zalm speaks, everyone welcome,
noon, SUB auditorium.
Documentary: Word is Out: Stories of Some of
our Lives, donation requested, 8 p.m., SUB
SUB Renovation Referendum
FEB. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Polling Hours: 9:30 - 3:30
Polls located at:
Polling Hours and Locations subject to
the availability of Polling Clerks.
gears up
Are you a socially conscious
liberal, or perhaps a liberally conscious socialist? No matter, we've
got just the thing for you.
There's a V.D. party coming up
that only the squarest of squares
will dare pass up. You too can
come (there's that word again) and
join the Liberal Hearts Club Band
for an evening of frivolity and drinking.
Yes, Valentine's Day is here once
again, and you can contract a case
of acute liberalism, Canada's
newest social disease. Just show
up (we didn't say come) on Friday
the 13th at 7:30. We'd love to tell
you where this wonderful event is
taking place, but doggone it, those
Liberals just plumb forgot to tell us.
See you there (somewhere).
Spread V.D.
Here we go with another V.D.
announcement. Yes, Valentine's
Day is still scheduled for Sat., Feb.
14. Yes, all you fun-loving folk are
welcome to spread your goodwill
around. Yes, you will no doubt
need a place to do this spreading.
So what does this have to do
with a dull, dry lecture on Armadillo
ecological awareness? Not all that
much, but enough for the friends of
the armadillo to get together to talk
about the social life of the armadillo.
Funny thing, but armadillos apparently love soul, rhythm and
blues,    and    motown.    Hey,
Hot flashes
something similar to that is taking
place Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. in SUB
207-209. Tickets available in the
Geography building, and wow,
they only cost $1. See you there,
refreshments will be served.
Help Nishga
Wouldn't it be nice to be a mining company like AMAX? Then you
could do things like get government
permission to set up a mine in
Canada's north and pollute the
ocean 8,000 times more than usually allowed.
Isn't it a lot harder when you're
just a citizen? Especially if you're a
native up north who will suffer the
consequences of having a mine
built on your back porch. To get a
favor from the government when
you're not rich isn't quite so easy, is
It means you have to get a lot of
people together to support the
cause. If you're interested in helping the Nishga Indians protect their
environment, contact Bill Horswill
at 689-5663.
Mr. Mileage Maker, Bill
Docksteader, has Best-
In-town price on brand
new hatchbacks! In-
Docksfradar   eluding
445 Klng.wiy! Short sup-
879-7414 ply, so
OL. 5711      hurry!
Cay stuff
Gay week '81 continues today
with two Canadian films dealing
with gay issues; Jill Johnston: October 1975 and Michael, A Gay
Son. The films start at noon in
Buch. 202.
More gay week activities take
place Friday. At noon in SUB 205
NDP MP Svend Robinson, a
parliamentary gay rights advocate,
will speak on gay issues. One of the
highlights of gay week will be a
concert by Comic Robin Tyler, a
feminist and gay rights leader.
She'll perform at 8 p.m. in IRC 2.
At 11:30 a.m. Saturday Tyler will
lead workshop for the Gay People
of UBC. Gay week concludes with a
Valentine's dance at 9 p.m. in the
grad centre.
lhat the unity of mankind is the next stage in
our social evolution?
That prejudices ot all
kinds should he eliminated?
i ■ *:ir men and women
should have equal rights
l'nat cxt;enies of wealth
and poverty are unjust?
Piai tile planet needs
to he reorganized on
(he hasis ot cooperation
rather than confrontation?
That world peace should
be the birthright of our
That a second language
used by everyone would
facilitate   communication?
That science and  religion should agree?
That each of us should
look for the things that
unite rather divide?
□ □
□ □
If you agree with some or all of
these questions, you have much
in common with a world organization which is demonstrating
that these ideals can become a
practical reality:
For further information see the
Baha'i Club booth in the S.U.B.
Mall Noon today or phone
224-4185 or 224-6678.
RATES: Campus - 3 tines? 1 day ♦1.B05 additional Brow, 36c.
Commercial - 3 line*, 1 day $3J0; additional Hr***
Site. Additional days $3.00 and 48c.
Classified ads an not accepted by telephone ami am payable in
advance. Amntma is ft.-00 a.m. the day before pubtieathn.
Pvbteaikms Office, fiootn 241, S.U.B., UBC, Van., B.C. V6T2A5
5 — Coming Events
36- Lost
Valentine Ballroom Danca
February 14
HeRentc Ha*. 4M0 Arbutue
Muaic by Joe MoretH
4100 Sq. ft. Boor—Werreehmente
Umfted Admieelon . M.00 each
Reserve Only 433-1*76
at Young Alumni Club'*
At 8251 Cecil Green Park
Full Aemai »nd tttmrtmlnmvtt PrvvM^d
SILVER PIN with turquoise anamaHing on
Monday, Fab. 9. If found please caH Tammy
at 732-8982.
LOST in January ladies vatgine watch. Lots
of sentimental value. Please return, reward.
874-3184 Virginia.
85 — Scandals
FRUIT LEATHER. Delicious Dried Fruit.
Treat from Okanagan Valley. Write now for
mail order catalogue and free sample. Edible dried goods. Box 843, Penticton, B.C.
11 — For Sale — Private
1976 GRANADA QHIA (Silver) 351-V8
Power steering, brakes, windows. Excellent
Condition $3600 o.b.o. Call eves. 524-9348.
RED 79* ESPRIT FIREBIRD 4.9 Litre, Wire
Wheels. Radial Snow Tires included $8,500
o.b.o. Call Sue 228-3978 or after 5:00
20 — Housing
ARE YOU TIRED of commuting to U.B.C.
every morning? If so, the Student Housing
Office may be able to help. We now have
vacancies for women in Totem Park
Residence. There are only seven double
rooms left — so act quickly. Come to the
Student Housing Office during regular office hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) and let
us help you solve your housing problem.
For info 228-2811.
30 — Jobs
wanted for weekend jobs: Cleaning, painting, construction. Imagen Design
Associates Inc. 688-2434.
FULL AND PART TIME shippers wanted
by local stereo store. Opportunity to learn
to mount cartridges and deal with
customers. Drivers licence an asset. Reply
in writing to Box 100, The Ubyssey, Room
. 241. SMB.	
ZIONISMI On its way to U.B.C.
HEY LOVERI How about a Healthy lunch
with your heart in mind? Meet me at the SUB
Snackbar, today at 11:30. Passionately yours,
Dietetics 4.
THE GSA is holding its semi-annual
Valentine's Day Party Feb. 13 at 8:00 p.m.
in the Grad Centre.
B.C. Interior mid Feb. to mid March —
Share Exenses - Bob. 253-0060.
86 — Typing
TYPING 76C/PAGE. French available. CaU
Peggy 438-4994.
TERM PAPERS, resumes, reports, essays,
composed, edited, typed. Published
author. Have Pen Will Write: 666-9535.
EXPERT TYPING. Essays, term papers,
factums $0.86. Theses, manuscripts, letters, resumes $0.85+. per page. Fast
accurate. 731-9857.
ESSAYS. THESES. MANUSCRIPTS, including technical, equational, reports, letters, resumes. Fast, accurate. Bilingual.
Clemy 266-6641.
EXPERT TYPIST. Fast and accurate. IBM
Selectric II. 15 years experience. Student
typist. Reasonable Rates. 731-9857.
TYPING SERVICES for theses, correspondence, etc. Any field. French also available.
I.B.M. selectric. Call 73fM042.
TYPING IBM SELECTRIC $1.00 per page.
Fast, accurate, experienced typist. Phone:
873-8032 (10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.).
99 — Miscellaneous
THE PLANNING Student's Association
conducted a fee referendum on February 3
and 4. 1981 to re-affirm an annual $10.00
fee levy on all persons enroned in SCARP.
From an electorate of 93, the referendm
was passed with 53 assenting votes, 2
dissenting votes snd 1 spoilt ballot. Thursday, February 12,1981
Welfare mothers
Harassed by social workers, women struggle
to survive in a system designed to oppress.
It's harassment. Humiliation. Hunger.
Neglect. It's a demand to do the impossible
and it's a dead-end option for many women
in Vancouver.
It's the welfare system.
While cozy middle-class families celebrate
Christmas with turkey, a tree and heaps of
gifts, a mother on welfare tries to stretch a
$50 Christmas bonus to cover seven children.
While another office worker celebrates a
raise, a woman on welfare gives up most of
her paycheque to B.C. human resources
because she's not allowed to earn more than
$100 a month part-time. After all, she's supposed to be "poor."
A battered woman who leaves her husband
is told by human resources to go to a marriage counsellor, rather than get government
assistance and live on her own. After all,
she's supposed to be a good wife and keep
the family together.
These are just a few of the ugly realities
that plague women on welfare, according to
members of a local welfare rights group. Five
women from the Skeena Terrace Welfare
Rights Committee spoke to a class of UBC
social work students last week and gave
graphic descriptions of their stark and insecure scramble for existence.
"They say it's a free country . . . it's
not," Pauline Widen, widow and welfare
mother of four, told 18 people in Graham
House. "Social workers can come into your
house any time unannounced, snoop through
your closet, look in your refrigerator and
cupboards, go through everything and then
say you're living too good for someone on
"They take a look around and then get the
neighbors checking up on you. You're
under constant investigation. They're on
your backs all the time."
Kathy Hunter, welfare mother of two, says
women on welfare face continual invasion of
privacy and are often questioned about their
sexual partners. Human resources staff often
view male friends as potential breadwinners
or assume they're supporting women without
being reported, she said.
But "responsible" social and financial
workers should not jump to such conclusions, says Hugh Millar, executive director of
B.C. association of social workers. He encourages a flexible policy but adds that good
judgment is required for individual cases.
"I knew people when I started out about.
20 years ago who were very aggressive," he
said. "They went out intent on harassing
women and  seeking out  abusers of the
"My mom gave me
$50 and they took
that out of my
welfare cheque."
system. But I would hope we've made some
Millar says his association advocates
establishment of an independent body to
hear grievances from welfare recipients. He
supports compulsory registration of social
workers in a professional code of ethics to
make them accountable for their actions.
Currently, the human resources ministry is
set up to keep women on welfare divided and
powerless, says Hunter. Women are forbidden to read any reports about themselves or
their families that are written by social
workers or ministry staff, she said. "We're
told it's policy."
"The ministry of human resources often
tells us that the 'average welfare recipient' is
unwilling to work, trying to get something
for nothing, untidy and unclean, kind of
stupid, fraudulent, guilty of child neglect and
ready to abuse the system at the first opportunity."
H6U) Vou VySJEp THOSE. Klfci   FED AMD
In 1980, the monthly welfare rate for a
family of three was $595. This is well below
the $921 poverty line set by the Canadian
senate in 1978. In order to make ends meet,
some women are forced to resort to fraud,
facing potential fines, imprisonment and
their children's placement under ministry
care if caught, says Hunter.
Yet women are penalized if they receive
cash gifts, adds Widen. "My mom gave me
fifty dollars and they (the ministry) took that
out of my welfare cheque. They take cash."
Another committee member, Darlene
MacDonald, says the ministry keeps close
watch over welfare recipients' bank accounts. If a woman is receiving interest on a
deposit, the ministry deducts the amount of
interest money from her welfare cheque, she
Such frequent interference and
surveillance causes guilt, shame, resentment
and fear for women on welfare, committee
members agreed. But in a recent strong collective action, some members came forward
and charged human resources minister Grace
McCarthy with child neglect; her ministry
does not provide enough welfare money to
properly feed, clothe and care for children,
they said.
"She told us that because we were articulate and organized we should get off our
butts and work," said Hunter.
But work is easier said than done for most
women on welfare, as committee members
explained. Many are single mothers who
must stay at home with their children because
they cannot afford paid babysitters. Most do
not have the necessary skills to earn well-
paying jobs that will support a family.
And if they do get a part-time job that pays
more than $100 a month, they lose the extra
money to the ministry, says Hunter. It's a
classic Catch-22 situation.
Similarly, the ministry's program of training and work incentives does not often provide new job opportunities, but is an extension of unpaid work women already do in the
home — as domestics, child-care workers or
other low-paying positions. So, it's not
enough to pay the bills, says the committee.
In addition, the ministry puts a two-year
ceiling on training, which narrows the job
choices for welfare women and promotes the
notion that they must "earn their keep" as
soon as possible. This time restriction has no
relationship to actual job openings so women
often end up training for non-existent jobs,
say committee members.
And Millar says: "There is absolutely no
way you can refute that there is not enough
money for women on welfare. The public
doesn't understand the benefits that flow
from making people more self-sufficient. The
cycle of poverty has to be broken."
In Hunter's words: "Our biggest fight is to
show that we're not taking from your pocket.
We're not asking for the whole pie. Just a
piece of the pie that we deserve."
But unfortunately, our society has not
matured much in its attitudes towards
welfare recipients, says Millar. And a
ministry child-care worker, who declined to
be identified, agreed that the cost of the
welfare system still lies with the taxpayers.
"People on welfare can do with more
money, but whether the ministry can afford
to give them more money is another question," he said. "The bottom line is how
much does the average person want to pay
for them?"
It's not a supportive tradition. A woman's
first trip to a welfare office is usually a
humiliating process with long waits, as committee members revealed through a skit.
Ministry staff can be reproachful and
unhelpful while asking probing questions
about accommodations, lifestyle and job
And to fill in the new forms for government assistance, people must stand with right
hand raised and read their form aloud as if in
a Girl Guide pledge, said Hunter.
But she was quick to point out that it is the
welfare system itself, and not individual
workers, that is to blame for inadequacies.
"We're not saying you as social workers
are bad," she told the students. "The policy
is bad, the legislation is bad. We don't need
you to fix it (the system) for us. We need you
there to help us fix it."
Widen told the audience: "You're the
young ones, the ones who're starting out.
You haven't got into the racket, the system
yet. You haven't been brainwashed."
She was bitter in recounting her own personal experiences with the ministry. She said
she had to sign away two of her children
under ministry care because she lacked sufficient funds to raise and support them proper
ly. Ministry staff told her she was not a good
mother and the children would grow up
much better under government care, she said.
"But they didn't do a better job. My kids
kept running away from group homes and
foster homes to be with me. They wanted to
stay with me. The ministry wouldn't even let
me know where they were. I had to fight
tooth and nail just to get their telephone
As mothers, a major source of alarm for
committee members is the new proposed
family and children's services act, Bill 45,
which they say removes control from parents
and gives the child welfare authorities vast
power. For example, a single ministry social
worker can call a judge for a warrant to apprehend a child; the bill allows courts to
order up to 12 months temporary custody.
But the ministry child care worker said apprehension occurs very rarely and only as a
last resort. "Not all social workers can apprehend," he said. "It depends on their experience. But ideally, they don't want to split
the family. It costs the state a helluva lot
more money to keep a kid in (foster or group)
care than to keep the kid at home."
Despite ministry assurances, committee
members say they feel strongly that women
on welfare must gain more control over their
own lives and organize to become powerful.
The group has the support of Vancouver
Status of Women, Rape Relief and the B.C.
Federation of Women.
Hunter told her audience of social work
students and one faculty member:
"If you are employed by the ministry of
human resources, you are threatened by
unemployment like the rest of us. Yet many
of you see yourselves as professionals,
thereby separating yourselves from us, the
welfare recipients.
"Do not become divided from us. Fight
with us to oppose legislation that harms us
all . . . the time has come where you can no
longer pretend to be neutral. Support us by
raising our concerns at your staff and union
The committee was formed in September
1979 by welfare recipients at Skeena Terrace
co-op housing project and their supporters.
There are now 10 active members with up to
100 available for group actions.
Members have encouraged women to fight
back for their rights through letter campaigns, position papers and public education
presentations, such as the one at UBC sponsored by the social and political committee of
social work school students.
The group presented a position paper last
"The bottom line is how
much does the average
person want to pay
for welfare?"
October to Rosemary Brown, NDP MLA
and human resources critic. Here is a short
excerpt of the members' ongoing demands:
• guaranteed annual income for all poor
people in Canada; welfare rates determined
in accordance with Canadian senate poverty
line; built-in cost of living allowance;
• grievance committee to handle harassment and invasion of privacy complaints;
make ministry welfare files available on request; allowing all file information to be
• make job training available on the basis
of personal interests and drop two-year ceiling; allow welfare recipients to keep all income and cash gifts;
• human resources ministry should make
realistic assessments of food, clothing and
household maintenance costs;
• right to good free childcare for all
children; have ministry automatically provide
$30 monthly babysitting allowance.	 Page 8
Thursday, February 12,1981
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