A handful of McGill administration, SSMU executives, and students met to discuss student space on Friday during the latest SSMU strategic summit.
Some of the topics at hand included the lack of usable student space, informal spaces for students to work, and campus greening.
SSMU President Maggie Knight led the summit with SSMU VP Clubs and Services Carol Fraser. Knight asked the group at the beginning to consider what is student space – and what is non-student space – on campus. The issue came up throughout the afternoon, as the Shatner building itself is not owned by students, but rented from the University.
The small size of the gathering gave students the chance to come up with ideas on how to tackle the issue of student space and brainstorm ideas with administrators on how to improve already existing spaces.
Katie Larson, president of Music Undergraduate Student Association (MUSA), spoke to concerns within her faculty.
“Space is always a big concern in music, as we always have so many small groups going on and individuals who always need space on campus,” she explained.
The main issue was the need for space for students outside of class time. Jim Nicell, Associate Vice-Principal (University Services), told The Daily, “Students are looking for more informal space. A lot of their day-to-day life is not just inside a classroom.”
Nicell said that McGill is working to convert under-utilized space into areas that can be used by students.
“Think of Cybertheque: that used to be dry storage, and now it’s one of the most occupied spaces at in the entire university,” he said.