student space, the final frontier

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Written by Drew Garvie

Who is our university meant for? Who must its facilities serve? These are important questions that the CSA constantly asks to ensure that the needs of students here at Guelph are always considered as a primary focus in all decision-making.

With this in mind, the CSA often turns its thoughts to the most frequented student activity hub on-campus: the University Centre. The UC, in the way it is physically structured and organized has a less-than-ideal allocation and use of space. The CSA, as residents of the 2nd floor of the UC, have become aware that our space is no exception to this reality. We have determined that this year, one ripe for action, has given us an opportunity to assess the efficiency of our space and how it can be improved.

Our current structure does not support the long-term sustainability of our vibrant campus club culture. Furthermore, the first-come-first-served method of granting clubs office space in the past has left over 60 clubs without offices, and others with no choice but to share their small space with two, or even three additional organizations. If the CSA is to serve the needs of the student body and promote the value of extracurricular activity, it must evaluate it's current layout and seek restructuring improvements that employ a flexible use of student space. We are prepared and ready to take this step, but we know that it is not enough to achieve the goals the CSA has for student space in the UC.

We have a vision – a vision that proclaims the 2nd floor of the UC as a “student floor”. Student space on this campus is at a premium, and we must ensure that student's dollars are going towards maximizing that space in ways that are accessible, diverse, and of direct benefit.

I'm inviting all students to send me their opinions on the 2nd floor of the UC. How can the CSA improve it's use of space? How can the CSA ensure that all space in the University Centre is devoted to directly improving the student experience? These are complicated questions, and that's why we're looking for your answers. Let your voice be heard, and be a part of the year of change in the CSA!

Meaghan Hourigan
Communications Commissioner

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  1. Posted by: Dave on Jul 18, 2007 @ 8:54pm

    I'd like to see a more productive use of the study space in the UC. the one directly in front of the CSA office. every time I walk by there, it feels like it's just wasted space.

    I think that is precious real estate that could be converted into something -- admittedly, I don't know what that something is.

  2. Posted by: on Jul 19, 2007 @ 6:15pm

    Agreed, lose the study space. There's got to be a million other places to study that are much more conducive to studying anyway. Empty classrooms are extremely useful.

    I know this isn't the second level but, can we get rid of the useless vendors that choke up the mezzanine. I thought according to the CSA all students are too poor to afford anything. So why are we shoving in that book sales (with books that aren't actually useful to anyone at a university level), perfume tables, and knock off designer jeans. Is there an actual market for these things at the UC?

    As well, paint over all the commie porn on the second level. Everytime I walk by "Alistar Summerlee is not my president" and other such naive useless quotes I feel as though if I'm not finding someway to destroy the BoG I'm not welcome by the student governments.

  3. Posted by: on Jul 19, 2007 @ 11:55pm

    I'm really excited by all the enthusiastic responses to this. I'd just like to clear a few things up:

    First, we're working on initiatives to ensure that our 2nd floor CSA space is a welcome place that students of all persuasions can feel comfortable in.

    Secondly, in terms of the vendors in the UC courtyard (i.e. perfumes, jewelery, jeans, etc.) the CSA is not responsible for, nor do we have direct control over their use of space. The UC Administration (separate from the CSA and the University) deals with all UC Courtyard bookings. We will be lobbying throughout the year however, to voice our strong opinion that the UC should be prioritized to provide student services and gathering space first, above and beyond all commerical ventures.

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