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Students to pay for $10-million LU facility

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Mar 20, 2014 - 5:12 PM |
Mark Mancini, vice-president of issues with the Students' General Association, is seen here at the voting booth where students are voting in a referendum this week on whether to fund a $10-million student centre through a levy paid at the same time as their tuition. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Mark Mancini, vice-president of issues with the Students' General Association, is seen here at the voting booth where students are voting in a referendum this week on whether to fund a $10-million student centre through a levy paid at the same time as their tuition. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Current student centre small and outdated: SGA official

The results are in, and members of the Students' General Association (SGA) at Laurentian University have voted in favour of funding a $10-million student centre through a levy paid at the same time as their tuition.

The referendum, which was held March 19-20, passed 601-318.

Mark Mancini, SGA's vice-president of issues, said the university's current student centre is owned by Laurentian, and not by students themselves, so they have little control over what happens to it.

It's also small and becoming outdated, he said.

“Granted, it's very, very hard to ask people to pay for something, but generally the response has been very good,” Mancini said.

“A lot of students recognize that this space from the 1980s no longer suits us anymore. They recognize that Laurentian is a university on the move.

"We're one of the only universities in the country without our own standalone student-owned centre. It's kind of now our time to get with the times, and so people are very responsive to that.”

Original story

Members of the Students' General Association (SGA) at Laurentian University are voting this week on whether to fund a $10-million student centre through a levy paid at the same time as their tuition.


Mark Mancini, SGA's vice-president of issues, explains the university's current student centre is owned by Laurentian, and not by students themselves, so they have little control over what happens to it.

It's also small and becoming outdated, he said.

“Granted, it's very, very hard to ask people to pay for something, but generally the response has been very good,” Mancini said.

“A lot of students recognize that this space from the 1980s no longer suits us anymore. They recognize that Laurentian is a university on the move.

"We're one of the only universities in the country without our own standalone student-owned centre. It's kind of now our time to get with the times, and so people are very responsive to that.”

The idea is to build the new student centre in an area next to the Parker Building where there's currently a parking lot for Laurentian maintenance staff. The student association hopes to have the project complete in two or three years.

The SGA definitely wants to build a combination pub and food services area in the student centre, as with Laurentian's recent enrolment growth, the SGA-run campus pub is becoming too small, Mancini said.

Students will be consulted during the next school year to determine what other services should be included in the student centre, he said. Possibilities include a grocery store and pharmacy.

Because students who are closer to graduating won't benefit from the new student centre, the levy would be implemented in a tiered system, Mancini said.
Next year, students would pay $40, with that fee increasing to $80 the next year, and $113 the year after that.

Mancini said the loan would be arranged for repayment over 30 years, although he said with increasing enrolment, it's likely it would take much less time than that.

First year concurrent education student Morgan Bottrell said a new student centre is a nice idea, but she's happy with the services already on campus.

She said she's not looking forward to paying the extra fee for the new student centre.

“That wouldn't be that nice, because we already do pay a lot for the SGA,” Bottrell said.

Michelle Winkworth, a first-year Laurentian architecture student, said she probably wouldn't use the student centre much, as most of her classes are downtown.

She said her tuition and incidental fees are already high, and would find the student centre levy an extra financial burden.

Besides, Laurentian's current student centre is just fine, Winkworth said.

Results of the referendum are expected to be announced March 21. Check back to NorthernLife.ca for more on this story.

Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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