I've been skimming through the 2020 plan and I was wondering if there is any more information available- the report seems a bit buzzwordy fluff filled to me. My questions regarding it so far are:
1) It is stated "We would gain almost total control of 42 with the exception of the Sports Hall". Does this include the martial arts room and will it be free for student use without sports and wellbeing passes in the future?
2) There is a lot of talk of "consolidating union spaces" and generally rearranging things. Will there be a potential floor plan available before things go ahead? Will we be losing any facilities which we previously had such as the climbing wall, cinema, martial arts room or squash courts? The section which concerns me is "opening up the entire first floor of Building 42 in an open plan, mall type setting" as this is where a lot of niche facilities are which I believe are part of the big positives about SUSU currently.
3) Will there be any sort of referendum on the planned changes as I would argue this is potentially a much larger change for the general student populace than something like the library opening hours!
4) Are there any plans to add any new facilities to the union in the changes?
I appreciate you taking the time to help!
I’m glad you’ve been reading the Vision 2020. If the stuff in it about building works seems fluffy, that’s because at present, it’s a goal, not a definite plan! That’s why it says ‘We WOULD…’ – in an ideal world, this is what would happen. To that end, we’d be interested in keeping as many facilities as possible, as I do fully agree that these add a great deal of use to the building. Any changes that are made will involve student consultation; even a feasibility study that would precede any hard plans would be heavily reliant on user group feedback.
With regards to the more specific details you mentioned, the martial arts room (and the associated Sports and Wellbeing membership) belongs to the University and is a discussion point between VP Sports Development and the University. By ‘open up the entire first floor’, what was meant is the first floor people arrive at in the building – confusingly, the 4th floor, currently housing reception and The Bridge. In a perfect world we’d take the Piazza and open up the entire top floor, but this is dependent on discussion with the University if the development was to go ahead. I can’t say whether there’ll be a referendum as by the time this gets to a point for referral to the student body (Presumably ‘should we refurbish and update our building?’) I will no longer be President, that decision is at least a couple of years away – it’s not the kind of decision that would ordinarily go to referendum as it is part of the long term development strategy of the SU. Again, regarding plans to add new facilities, at this stage I can’t say as that will depend on student feedback, a review of the most and least used spaces in the building, and a finished plan that is still years away. However, as soon as a finished floor plan is developed (provided you haven’t graduated by the time this happens) it will absolutely be available for student review.
I’m sorry I can’t be more definite than that, but the Vision 2020 refers only to our ambition for the Union. This includes a refurbishment of the building, but these plans are very much in the preliminary stage at present – we haven’t even started to think about which rooms will stay and go so much as ‘Is refurbishment a possibility, and if so, what would our aims be?’. As soon as more definite plans are laid, students will be the first to know so that their feedback and suggestions can be reviewed alongside hard data about use of the various facilities as part of the initial study into what could go into a refurbished building.
Monday 9th Nov 2015 9:38am