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Talking renovations with Jakki Doyle

Monday, November 12, 2007

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Written by andrea bennett

Q: Could you explain the proposed changes?

A: the changes have come from a 2002 space review - the CSA hired the same consultant (Mark from Du Toit Allsopp Hillier [DTAH]) to come back and come up with a plan that would address the needs of the CSA and other student organizations on the 2nd floor. the plan was to have five goals:

1) not band-aid solution - sustainable approach

2) create a centralized media hub

3) relocate UC admin off the 2nd floor

4) create 12 individual club offices and a meeting room zone

5) create communal club spaces

the plan was to define different spaces for different purposes, and address unfair club space equity. Jakki pointed out that there are more than 75 clubs and only 21 offices, all of which are shared. the clubs took office space on a first-come, first-serve basis, which has translated into an unfair distribution of space.

the plan is to address the growth that the 2nd floor is undergoing and will undergo - the plan allows for expansion of clubs.

  • sustainable solution
  • allows for club space equity
  • attempts to meet needs
  • some clubs require offices, some don't

Q: How would the clubs be selected?

the model comes from the MacMaster student union, who manages 250 clubs with 9 offices. they use a lottery, where the applications have to fit a certain number of criteria in order to be considered. (office hours, storage needs, etc). the lottery happens on an annual basis.

there will be communal space for the clubs who do not have offices. some of the space, like the computers and phones and the meeting rooms, will be bookable. there will be 1 large meeting room, 2 medium-sized meeting rooms, 1 advocacy room, and 1 further meeting room in the media hub. the communal space will also feature lockers and storage, production and assembly space, tables, and couches - useful for all purposes. there will be a laptop room with desks, chairs, and outlets.

Q: How did the CSA inform clubs about the proposed changes?

The ultimate decision regarding anything to do with the 2nd floor will get made by the UC Board. The majority of the board is students, and that board will decide about the 2nd floor. This was a long process, involving doing research, making a plan, bringing in an outside consultant, and finally, bringing the idea to the CSA Baord, who accepted the design plan in principle.

There was a club space assessment form given to clubs in early October, with an attached form and a letter from the CSA office. There was a mandatory meeting where the CSA clubs coordinator informed the clubs of the process.

Q: There has been some concern expressed about clubs with ideological differences sharing the same space. How would you respond to that?

This is a plan that I hope meets all needs, but unfortunately, not everybody will be happy with it. I encourage people to get in touch with me, to email me with quantifiable information that expresses their concerns. Clubs here have been co-existing for years, and we have an anti-aggression policy that involves the HREO and the clubs coordinator.

To me, having communal space would encourage collaboration. Some clubs, like the Interfaith club, already work with other clubs. The communal space should be a welcoming environment for people with conflicting views - in no way do I think the proposed design would change the coexistence of clubs on the 2nd floor. That being said, if necessary, the office hours could be organized so that clubs wouldn't need to interact with each other.

No proposal will be 100% effective but I know it will improve the situation. I am working to improve the situation.

Q: What about kicking the UC admin off the 2nd floor?

The director of the UC admin, Bill MacNaughton, has said that they are not adverse to moving, and has acknowledged that there needs to be a change to improve the building.

Q: What is the timeline? How much do you think the changes would cost, and who would foot the bill?

The UC Board does their budgeting in late January, early February - a final decision will probably come then. The construction would hopefully happen over the summer. As for the cost, it wasn't part of the consultant's job to ballpark the cost. Physical Resources contracts to construction companies, so I can't really make any assertions about what the cost would be. The CSA, the University admin, and the UC admin stand to benefit from the changes... these discussions haven't yet come into play because the plan is still coming to fruition.

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