The Students’ Union next president better be ready to negotiate.
According to SU president Raphael Jacob and vice-president operations and finance Eric Termuende, the SU does not expect to sign a new lease agreement for MacHall before the current executives leave office in April. This means the winners of this year’s election will be tasked with signing a new agreement before the current one expires in December.
“At the pace we’re going now, the agreement will not likely get done,” Termuende said. “Does that mean the agreement is not going to get signed? No. It just means that it will be something for our successors.”
The SU makes millions of dollars every year through the lease, making control of the building a top priority. Jacob and Termuende originally planned to sign a new agreement by the end of their terms in office.
Negotiations between the SU and administration began this September. But since then, two of the three representatives from university administration left their jobs — one in January, the other in February.
Termuende said this has slowed the negotiations down because the new negotiators on the administration side have to been forced to play catch up.
“First it was an education process, and then it became a re-education process. With different people you have different goals and ideals,” Termuende said.
Jacob said the SU also has disagreements with administration that are slowing down the negotiations.
“I think we’ve really been ready to move on this. For a couple of reasons, it has been frustrating,” Jacob said. “We haven’t been able to move forward as much as we like. We also have a couple fundamental disagreements between the SU and the university that I won’t get into.”
Jacob stressed that whoever wins the election will have to begin work on the agreement right away.
“This needs to start in the summer. We can’t leave this until the school year,” Jacob said. “It is really up to our successors to come in and do the rest of the work.”
Read more about the negotiations here.