News / Calgary

University of Calgary takes MacEwan Hall ownership, promise status quo

Students' Union remains concerned about Calgary university student centre operations

It appears to be business as usual at MacEwan Hall at the University of Calgary. The Students' Union lost a recent court case essentially stripping away the operational control of the facility they'd had for decades.

Metro File Photo

It appears to be business as usual at MacEwan Hall at the University of Calgary. The Students' Union lost a recent court case essentially stripping away the operational control of the facility they'd had for decades.

The University of Calgary and its Students’ Union are working in unison as the school’s student centre changes hands, and the school takes over operations.

But concerns are still bubbling despite the school’s “collaborative” takeover.

The University of Calgary assumed managment of MacEwan Hall on Oct. 17 after the Students’ Union failed to win a court injunction while an unprecedented lawsuit over the student centre gets underway.  

This effectively puts MacEwan Hall's cash flow, previously handled by the Students' Union, back into administration coffers, to later be doled back to the union so that they can continue to run their programs. The school will also be in charge of managing the building.

“We want to minimize the impact to students through being collaborative with the university, but I still feel students will feel an impact,” said SU president Stephen Guscott.

In a release issued by the University of Calgary, the school is clear that “students and the entire campus community” will see no change in services or programs.

“The university is only assuming management of the building and will collect rent and occupancy costs from third party commercial tenants only,” read the U of C statement. 

“The SU will keep their operations within the current SU space and operate their businesses and programs as usual… The businesses that the SU owns and operates in Mac Hall will continue to be run by the SU and the SU will continue to collect the revenues generated by them without having to pay any rent to the university.”

According to Guscott, the revenues collected by the U of C will amount to $1.9 million. That money was part of the SU’s operational budget.

“They’re deducting the cost of managing and operating the building from that money,” Guscott said. “If it costs more money to manage and operate the building than it costs us, we’ll get less money back.”

He said they do have savings to “weather the storm” but the SU isn’t sure what the impacts will be.

Ch-ch-ch-changes:

Guscott said if students see any changes in how Mac Hall is being run, or have concerns to voice them with both the union, and administration.  He will be holding the university to their word, and if students feel any changes, he needs to know about them.

Editor's note: A previous iteration of this story incorrectly stated the University of Calgary had taken ownership of McEwan hall on Oct. 17. The school took over managing the building on that date. Metro regrets the error.

Metro Savers