BSD, CJSW, acronyms get Quality Money

By Morgan Haigler

Students won’t have to rush for seats in MacEwan Student Centre or pay for BSD wristbands next year, now that the Students’ Union allocated over $1.6 million of Quality Money for 16 new projects.

The Quality Money proposals were approved by the Students’ Legislative Council on March 3 and the funds will be divided by September 2009.

Projects funded include the MacHall student space expansion, the CJSW relocation project and Bermuda Shorts Day.

Back in January, the SU was still deciding how they would pay the estimated $1.1 million for renovations in MacHall. That estimated figure has now dropped to $600,000 and will be funded by Quality Money.

Despite the recent change, the SU still plans to include 200 more seats, two vendors and a study space in the existing food court of MacHall between That Empty Space and the microwaves. TES will also be renovated. The Quality Money Committee previously funded $300,000 for the concept design of the 7,400 square foot renovation.

CJSW, the U of C’s radio station, also has big plans for a space makeover. The U of C Student Radio Society will use the third floor of the MacEwan Student Centre to accommodate its growing membership, expand its music library and provide a better work space for 150 volunteers.

To achieve this, they will use $195,475 from the SU’s Quality Money fund as well as some of the $205,000 from their 2008 funding drive.

As for BSD, the SU approved the $90,000 it needs for the next three years. The cost of the event has increased by $24,000 since 2007. The event’s expenses created a wave of concern because of the economic recession.

Before the proposal was voted on, the SU spent over three hours debating alternatives such as charging for wristbands or making the event smaller.

SU president and Quality Money Committee chair Dalmy Baez was unavailable for comment. Vice-president academic Pamela Weatherbee said using Quality Money for BSD was not a mistake. Instead, she believes people initially misunderstood how Quality Money is meant to be used for students.

“We realize Bermuda Shorts Day is a pretty big tradition on campus,” said Weatherbee. “It draws a lot of student attention and we feel that that’s something that students will really take away from university as one of their best memories.”

Weatherbee reaffirmed that the Quality Money allocation recommendations were appropriately used towards all three projects. She added that despite raising certain concerns during Tuesday’s meeting, everyone in SLC agreed that Quality Money was the best fund to use given the nature of each project.

Fifteen members voted in favour of the proposals, with none opposed and no abstentions.

“The mandate is to improve student experience,” said Weatherbee. “Once [people] get the information about what Quality Money is about and what is mandated, I think people start to come around.”

Other projects funded include non-profit student literary magazine NoD with $8,500, Craigie Hall bus loop upgrade with $35,000, art show student ticket subsidies with $53,756 and a course design program for faculty with $58,500.

The board of governors voted to continue the Quality Money fund for the SU and Graduate Students’ Association for three more years in December.

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