On Aug. 7, the CSU called a special council meeting wherein foremost among the agenda points was the issue of the university’s plans to renovate newspaper publication stands. In an informal meeting last month, representatives of The Concordian and The Link were invited to preview the university’s ideas for incorporating their publication stands into the Hall building’s renovations. On July 25, The Link published an editorial stating that they felt the university’s plans for press publication stands would limit the paper’s visibility to students. As a result, representatives from the Facilities Management department, Kirsten Sutherland and Karen McCarthy, as well as the architect on staff, Martine Lehoux, presented themselves at the council meeting in order to explain their plans and to dissuade the idea that they held any intention of decreasing student press distribution in the Hall building.
“Everybody is entitled to have their own opinions. For us, it showed that we didn’t explain context in terms of what we were trying to do,” said McCarthy, responding to the question of how she felt about The Link’s editorial.
McCarthy and her colleagues clarified the university’s intentions with regards to student press publication stands, saying that their goal is “to improve the look and feel of publication stands in the lobbies of the Hall building and eventually also in the Library building.”
Their priorities include providing better visibility for publications distributed on campus and maintaining newspaper distribution in high traffic locations. Lehoux explained this could potentially include ground level areas. By building furniture that will improve access to publications, McCarthy said they aim “to create a visually appealing modern space” similar to the EV and MB buildings.
The university has already created a prototype publication box, similar to those in the EV and MB buildings, in order to gauge the design’s appropriateness for the Hall building.
With regards to the initial meeting with newspaper representatives, the university hopes to pick up the discussion where they left off and work with The Concordian and The Link to find a design that works both for the purposes of traffic flow and press visibility.
The initiative to revamp publication stands is a result of the university’s desire to improve traffic flow in the Hall building. Additionally, they wish to reduce the number of obstructions in the lobbies in order to make the Hall building easier to navigate for those with limited mobility and the visually impaired.
The proposed timeline for consultation on design is planned for the fall with the presentation of design options planned for the winter. Following which, the hope is that furniture installation will take place in the spring.