Mould in clubs space declared non-issue

By Susan Anderson

The business clubs trailer attached to the first floor of Scurfield Hall has undergone a test confirming that while there is mould growing, it remains at safe levels for students to be in there until the new business clubs space is officially open in December on the fourth floor of Scurfield Hall.

SU vice-president operations and finance Eric Termuende said, “it’s not a problem at this point, or it hasn’t been at any point. [The clubs trailer] just passed an occupational health and safety test saying that it’s free to go and everyone is safe inside there.”

SU business representative Jasmine Chitroda said, “students have been seeing the mould for at least over a year now, a year to a year and a half. As soon as you walk into the clubs trailer there was always a musty smell.”

The renovations on the new clubs space are currently behind schedule. Chitroda believes the delay was in part affected by the flooding of southern Alberta in June.

“Since clubs were expecting to be able to move to the new clubs space by September, come late last year the clubs trailer wasn’t as well taken care of as it used to be in the past, so it did get a little bit dirtier in there, so I guess the university facilities did want to check that it was safe for occupation throughout the summer and throughout the first semester,” Chitroda said.

Business clubs had started moving out of the trailer last April because of the expected move. However, they will still have to use the space this fall. As it has been declared safe by a occupational health and safety test, the clubs are planning on working together to clean the space in the coming weeks so that the space is usable for this semester.

“The new clubs space will be available by October. It’s a little bit smaller so they didn’t want the transition of students moving up mid-semester just to avoid confusion and a bit of hassle,” Termuende said.

The official move to the new clubs space will happen at the end of December. The new space will have new furniture and offices, along with a store. Chitroda estimated the costs of the renovations to the new space to be $30,000.

“All the clubs won’t have their own offices, unfortunately, since it will be a much smaller space. However, we’re thinking of having one shared office and each club will get a time slot,” Chitroda said.
In the old space, approximately 14 clubs had their own offices.

“I think that it’s an opportunity for more collaborative work, if you notice that for our clubs space in the SU too, it’s bookable area. That way we can see an increase in attendance and events and programs and things like that, and have everyone working together instead of being specific in their own clubs,” Termuende said.

Chitroda is also supportive of the move. “I think having the new clubs space is definitely a really good change, especially since the clubs space is old, not as well taken care of, and going into the new clubs space we’re going to have better procedures for clubs taking turns cleaning it out, and taking better care of it, and just having that collaborative atmosphere where clubs aren’t only in their own office.”

However, some student reactions are neutral about the move.

Vice-president of marketing and communications for the Commerce Undergraduate Society Tess Rohleder said, “I think that the biggest thing is that it’s been a bit of an inconvenience for a lot of clubs to move all of their stuff and then the new space that we are getting is smaller so it’s going to be an adjustment, but at the end of the day I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing that we are moving and we’re all going to be upstairs in a nicer space.”

Rohleder wasn’t too concerned about the mould in the trailer, which is believed to be in the ceiling instead of out in the open.

“Maybe if they disclosed more about the mould or how bad it is, then we’d be more concerned, but for us, it’s more like, there’s mould and you have to move and that’s the end of the story,” she said.

Rohledger said she is concerned about the lack of storage space in the new clubs space. In the old space, they had an entire closet and in the new space they will not.

“It will be an adjustment for all of the clubs, but I would hope that it’s going to also force us to be more collaborative and not be as isolated because each club tends to isolate themselves and only stick with their own group and hopefully it will help bring people together a little more.”

The old clubs trailer will be removed sometime in 2014.

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