Board of Governors - APPENDIX IV - March 30, 2000
REPORT OF THE CAMPUS & COMMUNITY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Since the Board of Governors last met on February 3, 2000, the Campus & Community Affairs Committee has met twice: February 14 (a regular meeting) and March 13 (a public meeting).
1. Student Services Committee Submission on Non-Tuition-Related Ancillary Fee Levels for 2000-01
At the public meeting held on Monday, March 13, 2000, the CCAC received the annual report and recommendations of the Student Services Committee on Non-Tuition-Related Ancillary Fee Levels for 2000-2001, presented by SzeJack Tan, Chair of the SSC.
The SSC presented two recommendations:
• That the "Statement on Universality" developed and approved unanimously by the Student Services Committee be approved.
• That the non-tuition-related ancillary fee levels for 2000-01 remain unchanged from 1999-00
After considering the information provided by the Student Services Committee in support of its two recommendations, the CCAC approved both and has recommended them for approval by the Property & Finance Committee and to the administration for consideration as they prepare the final proposals for ancillary fee levels for 2000-2001.
The Compulsory Ancillary Fee Policy Guidelines of the Ministry of Education and Training state:
A non-tuition-related compulsory ancillary fee is a fee which is levied in order to cover the costs of items which are not normally paid for out of operating or capital revenue. [Article 4]
Compulsory non-tuition-related ancillary fees ... which were in effect during the 1993-94 academic year can neither be increased above 1993-94 levels nor expanded to include new fees except through the implementation of a protocol(1) which has been agreed to by representatives of the institution's administration and student government representatives in light of the Minister of Education and Training's announcement of March 23, 1994, and which has received approval from the institution's governing body. [Article 6]
The protocol will set out the means by which students will be involved in decisions to increase compulsory non-tuition-related fees or to introduce new ones. [Article 6]
The Student Services Committee Protocol was approved by the Board of Governors and the student government representatives in 1995. Under the terms of the protocol, the Student Services Committee (SSC) makes annual submissions to the Campus and Community Affairs Committee (CCAC) on changes or increases to fees relating to a number of ancillary operations detailed in the protocol, any user fees collected as a pre-condition for use of a student service, any new fee or service, and the direction and scope of student services. [SSC Protocol, Article 2.00]
According to the protocol, any fee increase or new fee that is instituted without the agreement of the SSC, will be considered to be contrary to the provisions outlined in the Ministry guidelines. [SSC Protocol, Article 3.00]
CCAC's report to the Board on February 3 reported on a presentation by representatives of the Students Against Sweatshops at Western. The Committee's conclusions were:
... adoption of a university apparel purchasing code of conduct is worth further consideration. The Committee believes it would not be productive to strike a task force to draft a code of conduct from the ground up. Rather, the policy developed by the University of Toronto (and any other Canadian universities engaged in this exercise) should be considered by CCAC as a basis for a code of conduct at Western. Consistency in policy in the Canadian context should help realize the objectives of such policy. Once the Toronto code has been reviewed and adapted to Western's context, representatives from SAS-C/UWO will be invited to participate in discussions about the draft with CCAC before any code would be proposed to the Board of Governors.
In response to the SAS-C/UWO request for a contact person, the Committee asked that Mr. Donn Ekdahl serve as a contact person for the SAS group. He has agreed to act in this capacity.
The University Secretariat, acting on behalf of CCAC, has initiated an exchange of information with a number of Canadian universities in an effort to collect codes of conduct that are under discussion or already in place.
At the February 14th meeting of CCAC, the Committee reviewed the information that had been gathered, including a draft policy submitted by the SAS-C/UWO group in mid-January. Very few Canadian universities has initiated consideration of any policy with respect to crested apparel. Like Western, a number reported interest in the outcome of the deliberations at the University of Toronto. Although Toronto has not yet adopted a Code of Conduct, nor is their proposed Code available for examination, their work on a draft continues. The CCAC reaffirmed the conclusions it reached on December 6, including the conviction that "[c]onsistency in policy in the Canadian context should help realize the objectives of [a Code of Conduct with respect to crested apparel]."
This information was conveyed to the representatives of SAS-C/UWO, with assurances that CCAC would involve their group in discussions in due course.
CCAC invited the SAS-C/UWO representatives to attend the public meeting held on March 13, 2000. At that meeting, the Committee was informed that the University of Toronto is very close to presenting a policy (statement of principles) and a licensing Code of Conduct for approval by its governing bodies. Officers at the University of Toronto reported that their code is closely modelled on that of the University of California, and that it would be in the public domain in April.
The SAS-C/UWO representatives -- Ms. Helen Luu, Mr. Bryan Shannon and Ms. Selena Horrell -- tabled three recommendations and addressed the revised draft Code of Conduct filed with the Secretariat on March 10, 2000, and distributed to CCAC members at the March 13 meeting. This document supersedes the earlier version filed in mid-January. This was drafted by the national network of SAS-C students and is intended to serve as a base code for adoption or modification by all Canadian universities, in negotiation with SAS-C representatives on each campus. Ms. Luu and her colleagues also described the Workers' Rights Consortium, a monitoring agency being established in the United States. They urged that Western and other Canadian universities join the WRC in order that there be a Canadian presence in the formative stages of its development.
The SAS-C/UWO members also presented three recommendations for consideration by CCAC:
• That the Board of Governors immediately take proactive steps towards adopting a Code of Conduct
• That the Board of Governors immediately implement the requirement for public disclosure, as outlined in Section 2 of the SAS-C Code [March 10, 2000, version].
• That the Board of Governors designate a liaison who is a direct member of the CCAC (in addition to Bookstore and Graphic Services Director, Donn Ekdahl) to participate in negotiations with SAS-C/UWO.
Conclusions of the Committee:
The responses of the CCAC to the three recommendations presented at the March 13 are:
• The Board of Governors should immediately take steps toward adopting a Code of Conduct.
CCAC agrees that Western should take a leading role, and indeed, Western is among a small number of Canadian universities that are considering the establishment of a Code of Conduct for apparel bearing the University's marks.
CCAC members believe that the Committee and the Board of Governors have demonstrated that they are listening to the concerns of the SAS-C/UWO and students in general. CCAC and the Board are supportive, in principle, of developing a Code of Conduct.
While the CCAC appreciates the enthusiasm and concern of the SAS-C/UWO to accelerate the process, the Committee and the Board are legally responsible for investigating, developing, approving, and implementing a Code that is workable and enforceable for the benefit of all concerned. To rush to a conclusion without thoroughly investigating the implications for Western of adopting a Code would be irresponsible.
Although the steps being taken may not be perceived as progressing as speedily as the SAS-C/UWO would hope, the CCAC feels that appropriate steps are being taken in the right direction. It is important to note that this matter was first brought to the attention of CCAC in December 1999. It has been discussed at each CCAC meeting since then. Adoption of a purchasing code has very wide implications for the University, some of them legal, and it is important that Western have a code that is enforceable. Furthermore, it is the CCAC's conviction that to be enforceable, any code that Western adopts should be consistent with codes at other Canadian universities. There is a basic concern that what may work in the United States cannot be transferred directly into Canadian jurisdictions. We appreciate having the information provided at the March 13 meeting with respect to the Workers' Rights Consortium which is being established in the U.S., but since the organization is still very much in its formative stages, we cannot know if it can serve the interests of Canadian universities.
While the CCAC is willing to pursue a Code of Conduct for crested apparel, it is important to emphasize that the University already conducts its business in an ethical manner, based on legal requirements, best accountancy practices, and strong Board policy. CCAC would look to a Code of Conduct only to enhance what is already in place.
• The Board of Governors should immediately implement the requirement for public disclosure, as outlined in Section 2 of the SAS-C Code [March 2000 draft].
The CCAC will take this recommendation under advisement for consideration in the context of a comprehensive Code. We are not prepared to approve an isolated piece of what could be a final code.
• The Board of Governors should designate a liaison who is a direct member of the CCAC (in addition to Bookstore and Graphic Services Director, Donn Ekdahl) to participate in negotiations with SAS-C/UWO.
The CCAC assigned Donn Ekdahl to work with the SAS-C/UWO representatives and to keep the CCAC informed. We have confidence that he is the right person, with the best background knowledge of the issue, to be the liaison person on behalf of the CCAC.
The Committee is not yet in a position to discuss the text of a policy for Western. We continue to await release of the document(s) being considered by the University of Toronto, which we expect to be available for review in April 2000. Since we are told that it is modeled on a Code adopted by the University of California, Dr. Mercer, in his capacity as General Counsel for Western, has agreed to review and compare the March 2000 draft of the SAS-C Code and the University of California Code. We anticipate that Dr. Mercer's analysis will put us in a position to evaluate the University of Toronto Code in a reasonable time once it is published, and to proceed from there to assess the legal implications for Western, should it seem advisable that Western adopt something similar.
It is the Committee's intention to contact the SAS-C/UWO representatives once there is an opportunity to review the University of Toronto Policy and Code of Conduct.
1. At Western, this is the Student Services Committee Protocol