VP Op/Fi defends SU on move

By Matt Lauzon

Editors, the Gauntlet,

Re: "SU cowardly, says irate reader," Nov. 9, 2000

Let the record show that the SU has not flip-flopped on anything. The SU office renovations are not at the expense of the new club space in any way. It has been our intention all along that the clubs would be moved into the new club space as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there have been delays with the design and projected costs, but it would have been irresponsible to pull the club space project from the current designers given how far along they were.

Setbacks on the club space are due to delays on the infill over the Bookstore and difficulties planning for and obtaining proper drawings for the redesigned and relocated expansion project. Many of these changes were not by our choice, and our desire was to have the club space drawings completed in the summer so that clubs could be in their new offices in September. This was never promised, only hoped for.

I can assure you that nobody was more upset than I with the delays regarding the club space. As a previous club executive for three years, I know the contributions that clubs bring the students on campus and have been vigilant in support of their needs. Ideally, the club space would have been finished already and there would not be a problem with the SU temporarily using the old club area as swing space during renovations to our offices. We are trying to maintain the efficiency of an organization that has had to grow with the burgeoning student population. This was the only reasonable opportunity to make these improvements happen, as the old club area will soon be demolished to make way for the expansion project.

If we were able to predict the course of events, things might have been done differently, but we can’t do that. All we can do is apologize for the inconvenience to students.

Out of this mess, we were able to combine the tenders on the various projects (SU offices, new club space, Gauntlet, et cetera…) to recognize cost savings on coordinated construction, and we have people overseeing every step of the process to realize any additional opportunities in terms of savings, benefits, or improvements.

We have struggled to make the difficult decisions all along, and have seen success on a number of fronts. Again, I encourage any student to approach us with feedback and want to thank everyone for their patience and support during this period of change.