It’s been more than a month since the Student Union Society (SUS) announced their decision to open pride and women’s centres on campus, and now with the new semester getting started, so are the plans for the centres.
Although they won’t be open to students for at least the remainder of the semester, SUS is currently asking the student body for feedback on what they’d like to see included in each of the centres.
“This month we’re trying to develop the mandate of those centres and have that be as open as possible,” SUS president Sukhi Brar said. “We’re having a callout for students wanting to join working groups to develop those spaces and there’s signage going up that people can write down what they want to see in those spaces, in terms of services.”
The exact time and location of the meetings is still yet to be determined, but Brar is hoping to start them sooner than later.
“We’re waiting right now because we’re still getting into classes and there’s a group of students that I know really want to be involved in it, so I’m trying to get a time that works for people so we can start that first meeting,” she said.
At this point, Brar is still unsure exactly when the centres will be up and running.
“It’s hard to know because a lot of it is so dependent on what happens in the working groups,” she said. “If a clear mandate is developed for either or both centres and it’s clear what students want to see in those spaces and what that would likely cost, then it makes it easier to move towards finding resources and what that process would look like, but it really depends on that mandate and what services people want.”
Once the working groups have created the mandates, they still need approval from the SUS board of directors and a 30-day advertising period before going to referendum, and Brar hopes to have all that done by the end of the year.
“Ideally, if things go well we would like to have a referendum this semester to be able to institute a fee for winter and have services run for the winter onwards,” she said. “That would be the ideal, but that’s contingent on a lot; it’s contingent on the working groups really nailing down a mandate in the next little bit.”