The Concordian sat down with Patrick Goodwin of MHPM Project Management Inc. to discuss the new contract with the Concordia Student Union in hopes of building a student centre. Here is our breakdown of the next year and the proposal that undergraduate students dished out $97,300 for.
As part of the plan, MHPM and the CSU will conduct a analysis by surveying students on their wants, needs and current space. In order to move forward and present options, Goodwin emphasized that Concordia’s undergraduate student body plays a huge role in the entire process.
“We’re reaching out to students in general who don’t use the facilities as much to see where they stand,” said Goodwin.
Following the needs analysis, Goodwin said that a report will be produced for early 2013 and presented to the ad hoc committee organized by the CSU. In consultation with the executive and committee, MHPM will develop options geared to the needs and wants of students.
Following this, the CSU will present the options to Concordia students and see which choices are well received and which aren’t. According to Goodwin, it’s possible to combine different aspects of the options.
“We don’t want to present a slew of options that are confusing, the idea is present different ways of looking at things,” he said. “We also get a bit of a vision of where students want to go.”
Preparing for next year
Outside of MHPM’s mandate and realm, a referendum could be held for students to decided how to move forward. Furthermore, the CSU and MHPM will work in tandem to provide a roadmap on how to move forward with future student centre initiatives.
One of the main obstacles that MHPM and the CSU will face is having students participate in the needs survey and provide their input on a potential student centre.
“The CSU wants to get the support but it’s up to the students,” explained Goodwin.
“It’s getting the engagement.”
Concordia’s undergraduate population is composed of 30,000 students and the goal is to involve as many as possible.
The mandate and proposal is geared to construct a student centre at Concordia’s downtown Sir George Williams campus while still accommodating the needs of the population at Loyola campus in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
“Our mandate is very much laid out for a student centre at the SGW campus but it is for the entire student body,” Goodwin told The Concordian.
Urban setting, lack of space
While it is too early to consider options for a proposed student centre, one possibility that can be ruled out is modifying a building that Concordia already owns. It would be difficult to change a facility that is already in use since the university already has a large student population and a lack of space.
“I think there are too many things involved in that,” said Goodwin. “If it is an option, we need some openness from administration on that.”
The objective is to find out what students think “how far is too far and what they consider campus to be” so that a location can be found that reflects Concordia student life. However, Goodwin remains optimistic considering MHPM has dealt with Ryerson University in Toronto that also is in the heart of the city.
A significant problem of the past is the dealing of the CSU and university administration when it comes to proposing and accepting a student centre plan. According to Goodwin, past proposals failed because students’ needs weren’t taken into consideration or the university presented an offer that received a negative reaction from undergraduate students.