The UPEISU Council met on November 19th for an extended meeting to hear a presentation from The Wave, review financial reports for Mickey’s Place, The Wave, and Halloween Pub, and vote on the amended budget for the SU.
With a presentation called #SaveTheWave, Josh McInnis, The Wave’s bar manager, presented to Council on The Wave, its operations, and why he believes the Student Union should move forward with the Student Centre Refresh, a proposed project which includes a planned renovation of The Wave space.
Opened in 2002, The Wave has not turned a profit since the 2009/10. McInnis cited a lack of sales, high labor, poor marketing, not enough structure or systems implemented by the SU, and lacking proper support staff as challenges contributing to The Wave’s financial woes.
McInnis stated that The Wave’s current condition lends itself well to a makeover. “Why would you renovate if the business is successful?” McInnis asked councillors.
McInnis highlighted issues that could be addressed through renovations including poor lighting, poor atmosphere, and parts of The Wave that are “literally falling apart.”
McInnis said the renovation plan, which would have The Wave and Mickey’s Place merge and have a cafe feel, would be a better option than the present model of two businesses.
After McInnis had left, Council discussed the Student Centre Refresh at length. There were a number of questions about the project. Vice President Rix inquired about the extent of student consultations that had been conducted, which led to former President Nathan Hood (hey! that’s me!) being given speaking rights to answer. Hood said that a student consultation survey was circulated during summer 2016.
Councillor Colton Profitt asked how to sell the proposal to constituents and Councillor Samantha Begin asked how the proposed plan would affect tuition for students, although both of these questions were not fully answered. In response to one question, President Hammad Ahmed, the chair of the NIFD committee (the committee responsible for developing the proposal and overseeing the project), directed councillors to ask other members of the NIFD committee for answers.
The full proposal is expected to be presented to Council at their December 3rd meeting. A motion was passed to develop a consultation survey on Wave renovations before the next Council meeting. Councillors were advised in the interim to consult with their constituents on the issue ahead of the meeting.
(On November 22nd, The Cadre learned that a Council e-vote had been launched to rescind the motion to do a consultation)
Financial Reports Largely Positive
Vice President Finance Will McGuigan presented October financial reports for Mickey’s Place and The Wave, both of which showed improvements over the previous year. While Mickey’s Place lost $815.80, the loss was $1882.86 less than the previous year. The Wave lost $1,394.40 in October, compared to the $5,570.68 loss incurred the previous year. The Cadre will provide an in-depth look at the businesses’ October performance in the coming days.
Halloween Pub saw a decreased bottom line however, pulling in $4,896.23 in net profit compared to $6,510.75 last year. Vice President Student Life Megan Rix explained that the price was lowered from $15 in advance and $20 at the door to $10/$15 because she didn’t feel comfortable charging that much, saying students “are broke.”
Discussion About The Amended Budget
McGuigan presented an amended budget for consideration by Council. The SU develops its budget toward the end of the year using conservative estimates of enrollment and amends it in the first semester to reflect any increases.
- The amended budget was approved minus the budget line covering cell phone plan reimbursement for executives and select staff members which was tabled until the following meeting. The Cadre will be producing a feature on the amended budget at a later date.
Ahmed announced that the SU recently received a shipment of 6750 tampons which, with the help of the University, will become available in washrooms across campus after dispensers are installed. Ahmed also mentioned that the results of the survey on gender-neutral washrooms had come back and were largely positive, meaning the planned creation of gender-neutral washrooms will proceed.
Vice President Academic & External Taya Nabuurs spoke about a meeting with Robert Gilbour regarding student representation in academic appeals processes. According to Nabuurs, faculty members have access to legal advice and other supports through the Faculty Association. Nabuurs also said that while the SU provides advice to students, it doesn’t have formal representation incorporated into certain internal processes within the institution. She said that the University and the SU are now looking at how they can better incorporate the student voice into these complaint processes.
By: Nathan Hood
Photo: MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited