24th January 2012

JDUC a focus for candidates

Rejuvenation project takes different direction for each team

Last Thursday AMS Assembly approved a $1.2 million contribution to the renovation of the JDUC.
Last Thursday AMS Assembly approved a $1.2 million contribution to the renovation of the JDUC. (Corey Lablans)

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The three executive team hopefuls have differing views on what the $1.2 million going towards JDUC renovations should be used for.

On Jan. 19, AMS Assembly passed a motion that finalized the AMS’s capital contribution to the Queen’s Centre. Of the $10.6 million, $1.2 million is slated to go towards a JDUC rejuvenation project over the next three years.

Team GPP — comprised of presidential candidate Rico Garcia, vice-president of operations candidate Duncan Peterson and vice-president of university affairs candidate T.K. Pritchard — want to turn the area that houses the TD ATM in the JDUC, into a performance space.

There is currently a performance lounge located in the Erikson Wing, however the University is now negotiating a new tenant for the space, Garcia, ArtSci ’13, said.

“That is why we cannot use the space,” he said.

Garcia added that the team originally wanted to use the spaces in the north end of the JDUC next to Signatures hair and tanning salon, but found out they couldn’t.

“We initially wanted to use that space for teaching classes and when we were meeting with people, we were told it’s a University-controlled space, so there’s already plans for that space,” he said.

After meeting with members of Physical Plant Services, the team said it’s a priority to have more bookable performance space for clubs and organizations.

Peterson, ArtSci ’11, said Team GPP has a proposed cost for renovations to the JDUC, totaling $1.1 million. Within the total, 20 per cent is for unforeseen costs to be used only for contingency purposes.

“Ultimately, our proposal will not incur any additional costs to students,” Peterson said.

Team GPP also wants to create a new committee under the Campus Activities Commission, which will be in charge of booking student teachers for the performance space they plan to create.

Pritchard said this is a great opportunity for the AMS to reach out to people.

“I’ve spoken to different students that have interests that they would love to share with other students,” Pritchard, ArtSci ’12, said.

Pritchard added that it’s the job of the committee to find student teachers.

“The committee itself would be fairly small, just a core team of a few people to do the marketing,” he said.

Team JDL — made up of presidential candidate Doug Johnson, vice-president of university affairs candidate Mira Dineen and vice-president of operations candidate Tristan Lee — wants to integrate the Queen’s Centre, JDUC and Physical Education Centre as a student life hub.

A major project will be connecting the Queen’s Centre, JDUC and PEC to create a united Student Life Centre, JDL said. The team says they spoke to Meghan McDonald, facilities manager, who was supportive of this project idea.

“Initially there was this idea of having a crossroads which was kind of the meeting spot between all of the buildings,” Lee, ArtSci ’12, said. “We envision this as our Student Life Centre.”

Team JDL also wants to renovate the cafeteria space in the northern end of the JDUC.

“Our idea was to kind of make it into a more lounge feel, almost how the Lazy Scholar is,” Lee said. “So it is a very permanent space where people would feel more comfortable coming and spending time.”

Johnson, ArtSci ’12, said renovating the JDUC’s historic aspects will most likely be a slow process.

“We’d have to go through the Heritage Committee … and that is a slow process definitely,” Johnson said.

Regardless of how long the process will take, Lee said money for maintenance repairs will come from a $200,000 amount from the University.

“This $200,000 is basically the University saying [they] understand that there will be some problems … this money should go towards fixing them up so that the building is safe for students,” he said.

Team RMS includes vice-president of university affairs candidate Sean Renaud, presidential candidate Jeffrey McCarthy and vice-president of operations candidate Bryor Snefjella. The team wants to improve upon the JDUC through the renewal of spaces and services already located in building.

One focus for the team was for the Peer Support Centre to increase in size.

The Peer Support Centre is currently located in room 34 of the JDUC and is used to provide short-term counseling for students.

“We were surprised that it didn’t have soundproof walls in place and that it didn’t have a meeting area,” McCarthy, ArtSci ’12, said.

Team RMS is looking to relocate the Peer Support Centre into the old AMS boardroom in the JDUC, a space that isn’t currently used.

A one-time investment of $30,000 from the $1.2 million capital allocation fund would install soundproof insulation in the room. This would include building a soundproof partition wall that would separate reception and counselling areas.

“The Peer Support Centre would then have a much larger and soundproof space in order to really make it a safe space for students,” Renaud, ArtSci ’15, said. “They can increase the amount of people they see.”

Another RMS platform point is to rebrand Alfie’s.

Creating a new brand image for Alfie’s would include a contest to change the name, creating clear signs outside the club and to promote it as a space to hold special events.

“It’s a matter of creating a strong brand and knowing what you’re getting when you go there,” Bryor Snefjella, vice-presidential candidate of operations, said. “Currently, Alfie’s is totally spread by word of mouth.”

He added that by lowering the cost for people to book Alfie’s for their own events, they hope to make it more attractive to students. Snefjella said there isn’t a cost in mind.

“We really want to make it visible and conducive to special events,” Snefjella, ArtSci ’12, said. “As opposed to competing for business with the Hub and QP.”

Furthermore, RMS is looking to update the quality of the Queen’s Pub with a wider selection of Ontario-brewed beers and if feasible, to update their physical infrastructure.

“I met with the TAPS manager, most of the meeting was based on physical allocation,” Snefjella said, adding that QP currently has very limited storage space and a small preparation area.

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