By Kade Marshall, March 27 2019 —
The University of Calgary Students’ Union approved 18 Quality Money projects this year totalling $1.84 million, many of which cover architectural and digital upgrades around campus.
The Quality Money program is a partnership between the U of C Board of Governors and the SU to distribute about $1.66 million per year to mostly student-directed projects that “make campus life better.” Since 2004, the program has approved over 240 projects totalling $24 million.
According to SU president Sagar Grewal, students should particularly look forward to one of this year’s proposals — an upgrade to computers in the Taylor Family Digital Library. With increases in enrolment and demand for updates to technology, the project plans on giving the outdated computers a facelift.
“We know this is very important for students,” said Grewal. “This will help with students that may need to print, as well as help students that can’t afford certain things like a laptop or a textbook or a notepad.”
Grewal said the library also received multiple complaints about computers crashing on students, causing inconveniences for those using them.
Outside of the tech upgrades, washroom renovations on MacHall’s west third floor are the most expensive project this year, costing $346,791.
The project hopes to increase accessibility to the third-floor washrooms. Issues such as wheelchair inaccessibility and a lack of bathrooms inside any of the facilities on that floor — which includes the Wellness Centre, the Native Centre and the Last Defense Lounge — were among the reasons for the upgrade.
“This is a big project and we hope all of our washrooms will be up to code and easy for the public to access,” said Grewal.
The SU also has plans to increase the sustainability of the MacHall food court. Tables will be set up in the food court where trained employees will sort waste. The goal is to achieve an 80-per-cent waste diversion rate for the 2019–20 academic year.
Another project seeks to purchase six new microwaves to reduce wait times for students who bring food from home. Other approved projects involve maintenance upgrades and improving existing programs such as Level Up, which rewards students ‘XP’ for participating in certain activities, and Ignite, which partners students wanting to get fit with veteran gym-goers.
“We’re hoping to continue them for another year as a way for students to engage on campus,” said Grewal.
Grewal wants students to keep participating in Quality Money in the future, saying that it’s the best way to know what projects the university should put their dollars into.
“It’s important we get student-led initiatives and that we get students submitting projects for some of the great ideas they have,” Grewal said. “We know that students know this campus best. Nobody knows it better and that’s why we want to hear from students directly.”
Other projects include locker upgrades in Science Theatres and Craigie Hall, as well as an expansion of study areas in the Math Sciences hallway.