he university will spend $125,000 to create new seating around campus. The catch? The student union has to pitch in the same amount.
The funding is coming from the university’s Strategic Priority Fund, while the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance is reaching into its capital fund to expense the improvements.
“The university wants to put in lunch tables and chairs that would also be used for study and groupwork (across from Vanier Hall’s Crocodile Grill),” said UWSA president Kimberley Orr at a May 29 board of directors meeting.
“This would be a small amount of overflow seating for the Croc,” she added, referring to the closure of Cafe Chez Vanier and the university’s need to accomodate students in other eating areas.
Areas being targeted include Erie Hall and the Dean’s Corner, which is the outside space between the CAW Student Centre, Erie Hall and Memorial Hall.
“We’re going to look at buying new tables and chairs for Ambassador Auditorium,” Orr said. “We’re looking at having seating left out more often for students to just study in Ambassador when it’s not being utilized otherwise.”
While some members of the UWSA board of directors expressed concerns over financing the project, the majority passed a motion in its favour.
“Do you guys think we’re subsidizing the university?” board member Tarek Daboussi asked.
Director Jamal Muhamud agreed. “We’re paying for new seating in different areas of the university. I would have thought that that would have been the university’s responsibility.”
“It still serves students,” argued director Ahmed Farhan.
“It becomes a grey area on who does what. And right now the UWSA actually has more capital to spend than the university does,” said Orr. “… I think that because students are getting the benefit from it and we have the capital fund and it’s supposed to go to things like this, that it’s a good use of our money.”
“Most of the time the only place we can spend the capital fund is in the CAW (Student) Centre … it’s a great opportunity to be able to dictate what resources are going towards students and where on our campus,” she added.
Director Ivonna Bilbilovska asked if they could use the funds to replace cafeteria seating in the student centre.
“The cost of replacing the chairs that are currently in the cafeteria is $1.3 million,” said Orr, adding that they did not have enough funds to accomplish this. “This Strategic Priority Fund is for creating new seating, it’s not for replacing old seating.”