Sept. 6, 1979 — “The people who know their God”
When Trinity Western College transformed from a transfer college into B.C.’s fourth public degree-granting university, UVic president Howard Petch worried that it would “open up a can of worms.” After the province quickly approved the transition after only two days, Petch worried that it would be hard for the government to deny other schools the same opportunity. UVic, like other public institutions, is supervised by a university council, one so thorough that Petch remarked: “If we blow our noses, we have to get their permission.” Trinity Western College, at the time, was not regulated by such a board. However, by 1985, the province legislated the institution from a public university to a privately-funded one.
Sept. 5, 1985 — “Where do we stand?”
Although it was only the first week of school, the UVic Student Society (then called the Alma Mater Society) were already gearing up for a referendum, scheduled for Nov. 5 that year. Back in 1981, Felicita’s pub manager, Colette Caron, stopped stocking Andres Wines and Carling O’Keefe products due to their ties to South Africa, which was still under apartheid. This boycott began after the Victoria Southern Africa Action Coalition approached Caron; however, the manager’s decision was soon ratified by the AMS Board of Directors. The new referendum let students vote on whether they wanted to boycott these products or not. In the end, the ban was narrowly passed 744 to 725. However, the referendum was more than just about the boycott, as students began to question the censorship of the AMS. Just like the debates around making the UVSS a bottled water free–zone, the Martlet printed letters in 1985 from students wanting the right to decide what they wanted to purchase.
Sept. 5, 1991 — “UVic pool plans run dry”
With the 1994 Commonwealth Games being held in Victoria, there were plans to build new sports facilities, including an Olympic-sized pool. Originally, UVic was to expand McKinnon by adding a new field house and aquatics centre, but, after reviewing its budget, the Commonwealth Games Society decided that there would only be enough money to build a new pool. The Society eventually built the Commonwealth Pool in Royal Oak, complete with pirate ship and waterslides. Terry Matthews, UVic vice president of administration, commented that “we already have a pool. Our priorities have to respond to the needs of the academic programs first.” Makes you wonder whether, if McKinnon had been expanded, would CARSA still be built?