At the April 25 board meeting, a motion was passed by the Student Union Society (SUS) to replace the current student lounge with more club space. This motion has caused quite an uproar among the students who use the lounge. This space is a place of recreation and downtime that is unlike any other place on campus. It is a place to sit, relax, play a game of pool, or even to catch a nap during those stressful exam periods. Friendships have been formed here that wouldn’t have been possible without this inclusive common area available.
Many of us who frequent the student lounge were taken aback by the sudden decision. Few announcements had been made about this decision, and many of us were unaware that the fate of our beloved room rested on the vote of a SUS board meeting. In fact, last we had heard, a budget had been arranged to give the lounge a much-needed renovation. It even included the addition of a mural to be painted on the far wall, one that represented the multiple different degree programs offered at UFV, and a symbol of how students can come together in this neutral space.
We feel as though this vote was not well publicized, and that SUS failed to properly communicate its intentions to the student body. Subsequently, due to this lack of communication, it did not allow a proper representation of the student body to vote on their opinion. We are now faced with the difficult dilemma of trying to express to the Student Union Society, in an appropriate manner, just how much this space means to many of the students, and how integral we feel the lounge is to the dynamic of the Student Union Building.
Our goal is not to cause conflict with the Student Union Society or to deny the clubs their needed space; in fact, certain clubs currently use the lounge as a meeting place. It’s not uncommon to see members of the trading card club playing cards, or the tabletop club enjoying a board game. We simply wish to let our voices be heard and to express how much we appreciate having space within UFV where we can all take a moment to relax, laugh, and enjoy our time together as students.