Final projects set in motion

New study space in the Aird Building at is now open to students. (Photo by: Jody Waardenburg)
New study space in the Aird Building at is now open to students. (Photo by: Jody Waardenburg)

The final third of the Student Life Levy (SLL) funds has been approved for the 2013-14 year and distributed to multiple projects on the Waterloo campus. And for the first time, student-at-large projects have been funded.

Three projects of the nine total projects approved were submitted by students on their own. The largest sum of money will go to a project that has been approved under the condition that the dean of students, Leanne Holland Brown, is consulted.

The project in question was an initiative to empower students to prevent gendered violence. It was given $63,622 from the SLL; however, in addition to this Holland Brown believes it can be incorporated into the university’s overall strategy for inclusion on campus.

“It’s definitely a priority to address gendered violence on campus and we want to make sure that instead of having siloed approaches, the committee wants to have a comprehensive strategy in general, which is why it’s conditional in them talking to the dean of students,” said Students’ Union chair and chief governance officer (CGO), Jordan Epstein.

In an e-mail, Holland Brown said that she will be meeting on April 15 with the original submitters of the initiative and a number of groups on campus that promote safety to “review how to create one coordinated program” to achieve the same goal.

The second largest amount of money is going toward a $45,000 revitalization project of the North Concourse, which is located near the OneCard office. In a student proposal, the plan is to put tables where the single chairs are currently.

“Students wanted more collaborative space and more group space,” Epstein said. “It’s changing the furniture to allow for that, so more tables and making it into a more functional study space.”

The chairs currently in the Concourse will be put in the Library.

For the remaining amount of money, $14,000 will go toward the WLU’er expansion; $10,000 for a masculinity initiative from athletics to address gendered violence, sexism and homophobia; $9,845 will be allocated to a “Go Go Grammar!” workshop; $4,379 toward new computers for the Club Resource Centre; $3,171 for an increase in lockers on campus; and $1,500 for the operating budget for the Laurier Entrepreneurship Competition.

According to Epstein, $1,700 is to go toward a student-at-large proposal for microwaves on campus. The application asked for money for two areas; however, Epstein believes that money can be put toward three areas on campus, which includes the Science Atrium, the 24-hour Lounge and the Concourse.

“[It’s] to allow people to bring food from home and engage in a healthier lifestyle essentially,” Epstein said.

There is approximately $167,000 left over from the SLL projects this year, which, according to university policy, can be carried forward into the following year. Epstein explained that although a couple applications didn’t receive funding, they were encouraged to reapply at a later date. They weren’t approved because they had “unaddressed questions.”

He also suggested that students talk to the incoming president and chair of the board about any ideas they may have.

“They can speak to what the committee is looking for because if you have a great idea on how to improve campus, we have the money for it.”

In the past, the total levy was allocated at the end of the academic year. This marks the first year with the new system of allocating a third of the levy at a time.

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