UMSU notes

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) council met on Nov. 4.
UMSU president Camilla Tapp reported that she had discussed student issues with Internet service technology (IST) on campus with the U of M’s new director of IST, Mike Langedock.

She noted that there have been student concerns with IST on campus in the past and that UMSU hopes to have some students attend a staff town hall on Nov. 8 and 10 to give IST staff a student perspective. She also stressed the importance of pushing IST staff to meet the Fall 2012 deadline for the university’s wireless plan.

Tapp also reported on the strategic enrolment management planning committee meeting she attended, where international student enrolment was discussed. She said UMSU wants to ensure that these students have a high quality experience on campus and “don’t feel like cash cows” because of their additional fees.

Mark Stewart, representative for the Residence Students Association Council (RSAC), asked for an update on the construction permit for The Hub.

Justin Quigley, vice-president (internal), said that thus far the pub’s construction committee has not met and that they are still waiting on the construction permit’s approval. In the meantime, however, UMSU has been working on making sure “everything else is working smoothly,” he said.

Nour Rashid, vice-president (advocacy), noted the accomplishment of fine arts student Alan Gould, who collected over 400 toys for UMSU’s holiday toy drive.
“He’s kind of inspired us at UMSU to try to match his donation,” she said.

A motion was brought forward to approve a draft of the budget for The Hub and implement it in UMSU’s overarching budget.

Some councillors asked why $60,000 was allocated in The Hub’s budget for ticket sales and cover charge, and if UMSU was planning to implement a cover charge for entrance to the pub.

Quigley said that he was not “100 per cent sure” how the pub’s planning committee was going to approach this, and that UMSU was looking to not have a cover charge.

Brittany Turchyn, representative of St. Andrew’s College Association (SACSA), argued that UMSU should not have a cover charge at all, pointing out that students’ UMSU fees are technically already going towards the building of the pub.

Daniel Nenadov of the University of Manitoba Engineering Society (UMES) also argued that $60,000 was a “substantial part” of the pub’s projected $495,000 in sales.

Quigley said that they are hoping that ticket sales will cover the ticket sales/cover charge portion of the budget.

Julie Rempel, vice-president (external), reported that the environmental sustainability committee has been discussing the possibility of trying to push for a UPass at the U of M again.

Rempel noted that the U of M is a commuter campus and that many universities across the country have implemented a UPass, allowing students to access public transit without purchasing tickets or monthly passes.

Stewart argued that though many students do commute to the university, there are still many who live in residence who may not benefit from having to pay for a UPass.

Rempel said that the UPass could still be beneficial for residence students. Tapp also explained that if UMSU did push for a UPass again, it would go to a referendum before it were implemented.

Rempel also reported that the committee is also looking into how food options on campus could be more sustainable.

Turchyn pointed out that any initiatives that were brought forward would have to implemented through ARAMARK.

Rempel explained that ARAMARK’s food services contract with the U of M is up in 2014 and that the discussions were focused on a more long-term plan for food options on campus.