By Natalie Sit
McQ’s lease expires
Students will notice a different owner of the MacEwan Student Centre convenience store. Chung Cho, who ran McQ’s since 1988, received notice in February 2000 his lease would not be renewed by the Students’ Union.
"I worked here for 15 years," said Cho. "I never got any complaints, any notice. It was a big surprise. I feel very bad."
The SU will take over the management of the store. SU President Toby White cited the lease expiration as a good time for the SU to take over ownership.
"It benefits us in that we can run it ourselves and the money that’s made from the convenience store can go towards the Students’ Union," said White.
You don’t say! SU gets expansion loan
The long-awaited expansion of MacEwan Hall took another step forward when the Students’ Union secured a $10 million dollar loan from the Royal Bank.
One problem the SU experienced in securing the loan was the question of whether or not the SU was an independent body that could take out a loan.
"I believe the Universities Act gives explicit power to the university to borrow money," said SU Vice-president Operations and Finance Matt Lauzon. "Does that mean the Students’ Union can’t borrow money?"
The loan will take 20 years to repay with payments of roughly $900,000 a year.
Research Transition Building part I
The university reserve lands–west of University Heights and east of Shaganappi Trail–stand empty, but in May a new building was proposed. The Research Transition Facility was to feature Calgary Laboratory Services as a major tenant, occupying approximately 75 per cent of the building.
However the University Heights Community Association raised concerns about the legality of the lease with CLS if the RTF was built on the reserve lands. As well, problems with increased traffic flow and environmental impact were cited.
"The fact that the major tenant is Calgary Laboratory Services is still consistent with the university’s research purposes," said University of Calgary Executive Director of External Relations Stu Reid. "Half of the pathologists at CLS have faculty appointments at the U of C, many of them have research grants through Alberta Heritage Medical Research Foundation or other programs."
Pay more for empty space
Don’t throw away your spare change just yet. On July 1, pay-per-entry parking rates increased by 25 cents and the cost of a monthly pass increased by two dollars. Also, a quarter now only gets you 13 minutes of parking meter time instead of 15.
Director of Ancillary Services Peter Fraser points out it’s the first change since 1993 and Calgary Transit increased their bus pass prices at least four times in the last seven years.
"The cost of adding parking spaces is so high now," said Fraser. "We’re running out of land and nobody wants to walk long distances, so what we’re faced with is building decks on top of lots instead of surface lots, which is three or four times the price per stall."
SU back in CORE
Despite the fact the University of Calgary Students’ Union and Administration have not agreed on the use of additional potential provincial funding to post-secondary education, the SU rejoined COalition REinvestment on May 23. The SU pulled out of CORE in February due to a lack of agreement over new funds.
The SU, the University of Calgary Faculty Association and other members believe the return of the SU increases the strength of CORE.
"It means that we are part of a powerful lobby group, that CORE is now truly representative of the university community," said SU Vice-president External Duncan Wojtaszek.
Terry White resigns
Dr. Terry White announced he would not seek reappointment as University of Calgary President June 5, citing personal reasons.
"I’m looking at the opportunity after 13 years as a university president to have what I would call a more normal life," said White. "I don’t plan to retire, but I think it’s the right decision for me to make personally."
Many of the faculty were surprised by the announcement.
"I appreciate the situation he is in and recognize that the pressures involved in holding such an important position take their toll over time," said then University of Calgary Faculty Association President Anne Stalker.
White’s term ends July 31, 2001.
Needed: more profs
Thanks in part to the "echo-baby-boom" generation, the University of Calgary will hire more professors starting this fall and continuing over the next decade.
Over the next 10 years, U of C hopes to hire more professors, citing reasons such as an increased rate of retirement by an aging faculty and increased research opportunities.
But U of C Faculty Association President Anne Stalker believed the hirings still do not restore what the U of C lost during cuts to post-secondary education in 1993.
"It’s not a restoration if the intent is to satisfy new demand," said Stalker. "If the need has increased, it doesn’t restore what has been taken away. But if some of these positions have been provided without new students, then it would be a restoration."
General Studies transforms into Communications and Culture
The Faculty of General Studies changed its name to the Faculty of Communications and Culture. Many found the current name vague, and it led to difficulty in recruitment of prospective students and faculty members.
"The new name reflects who we are and what we do," said Communications Studies professor and Associate Dean David Taras. "Most of our programs deal with problems of identity and culture, making the name fitting."
The new name will be in use by September.
Research Transition Building part II
The CRHA, a partner in the research transition facility, pulled out June 27 and will review its options. The project is now on hold until a new partner is found.
"We would be looking for someone who can contribute to the research/teaching component of the institution, the academic/teaching component of the institution and at the same time is looking for sufficient space to make the cash flow appropriate to build an RTF," said Stu Reid, Executive Director of External Relations at the U of C.
Look for bigger KNES faculty
The Kinesiology Faculty will beef up their buildings in a five-part plan including expansion of Campus Recreation facilities, improvement of classrooms and laboratories and construction of a new varsity sports building and fields.
"Each of the five parts will have potential for separate funding sources and each of them can be built basically independently," said Faculty of Kinesiology Dean Dr. Ron Zernicke.
Funding of the expansion will mainly come from outside sources like the government, corporate sector, and possibly the 1988 Olympic endowment fund. The university’s operating budget will not contribute to the estimated $53.5 million expansion budget but a student fee was proposed. While not confirmed, it would go to graduate and undergraduate students in a referendum.
Don’t worry, you can still get your money
Human Resources Development Canada announced July 31 that banks would still distribute loan money until March 31, allaying students’ fears. Last spring, the banks announced they would no longer cash student loans.
"We wanted to ensure that the banks getting out of the business would not negatively affect students," said Thomas Townsend, HRDC’s Director General of Learning and Literacy. "The big change is that the loan itself is coming from the Government of Canada rather than the banks."
The contract for a service provider should be tendered by November, according to Townsend.
For more information visit http://www.canlearn.ca.