Expansion on the way, says South

Editors, the Gauntlet

Re: “Expansion the final countdown” Oct. 21, 1999.

Dear Mr. McLean,

Fair comment; expansion has not started yet. As tempting as it is to try and make a weasely comment about how that is not really what I meant in my election promise, I won’t. That is exactly what I meant. I know it has been disappointing to you and the rest of the student body. Please believe me when I say that no one is more disappointed than I am that construction has not started.

This summer was spent wrestling with all sorts of problems no one could have foreseen in February: a combination of legal issues and government bureaucracy slowed things down, but now we are making progress. Within the next three weeks or so, we will have all the loan offers in from all interested financial institutions. As I outlined in my recent letter to students, we have been cautious as each percentage point in interest is a difference of a $100,000 a year to the SU. As soon as we sign a loan with the best offer,
we will put the expansion out to tender.

The tender process will not take long as the building has been tendered once before. Of course we wouldn’t have had to tender again if the key players in last year’s tuition issue had managed to keep these issues separate. And if all this does not work, we will have a referendum in March as to whether students should stop paying the expansion/redevelopment levy.

Agreeing with your statement that redevelopment does not equal expansion; I do hope that you do not disregard the importance of the redevelopment work that has been going on. We can’t expand without redeveloping. Also, I would like to clear the air about the value of redevelopment projects that have been either started or finished. The net result of these projects will be two new food kiosks, increased student seating and a more intimate Max’s Café. As for the stairs, they will finally be where they always should have been.

If you (or any other student) would like to talk more about expansion please don’t hesitate to contact myself or Amanda Affonso, Vice-president Operations and Finance. I always welcome feedback. Just because I probably will not be running for re-election does not mean that your opinions are not important to me. Unless you have anything else to bring to my attention, I’ll get back to work on expediting expansion, fighting tuition increases, and trying to get the government to pay its fair share. Thanks for your concern.

Sincerely,

Rob South
President, Students’ Union

P.S. There will be no GST on textbooks at the Used Bookstore starting Jan. 1. Additionally we have been lobbying the Federal Government to give students a reimbursement check for the GST they pay on textbooks. Response has been relatively good; it would sure help if you could write a letter to your favorite MP about the idea.

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