President's Report 2006 | Campus Life

Students' union and university finalize lease agreements

In April, the students' union of Memorial University (MUNSU) and the university's administration concluded agreements to manage lease arrangements for the students' union on the St. John's campus. The agreements also include arrangements regarding the management of various loans associated with the move from the former Thomson Student Centre to the Smallwood University Centre.

Dr. Lilly Walker, Memorial's dean of Student Affairs and Services, said the new arrangement will be good for both the students' union and the entire student body. "The agreement is win-win for MUNSU and the university community," said Dr. Walker. "Initially our main priority is to ensure continuity of service in the various operations. In terms of Memorial's Daycare Centre, clients will see no change in service or staff. With the food court, we intend to build on the good relationships that exist with the vendors and, over time, look towards expansion in that area to provide even greater variety and choices for our students."

Included in the agreement is the MUNSU space in Smallwood University Centre where commercial tenant space will now be managed by the university while MUNSU retains control of space related to MUNSU programming; the food court and its employees which will now be the responsibility of the university; and the daycare centre, for which MUNSU will provide an annual grant of $20,000, but will be managed by a new not-for-profit entity with an independent board of directors, while continuing to give students priority access.

In addition, Memorial University will assume the responsibility for the loan debts associated with the move of food court clients from the Thomson Student Centre to the Smallwood University Centre. Profits from the food court operations will be used to retire this debt. Memorial will also take responsibility for capital debt associated with the creation of the Daycare Centre. Profits from the food court operations will be used to retire this debt. Additional profits from the food court will be directed exclusively to the university's Student Affairs and Services unit for the benefit of the entire student body. Meanwhile, MUNSU will retain responsibility for the cost of leasehold improvements made at the time of the transfer of operations from the Thomson Student Centre to the University Centre.