News in brief: March 30, 2011

Conclusion for WLUSU operating agreement in sight

Long in the works, the operating procedures agreement between the university and Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union has been agreed upon in principle, pending approval by the WLUSU board of directors and the university’s board of governors during the exam period.

The two parties had butted heads over some details of the food services and meal plan aspects of the agreement since negotiations began several months ago.

“Students, I think, are going to be very excited by the representational role WLUSU took into the negotiations and successfully negotiated better access to the meal plan from what students have now,” WLU director of student services Dan Dawson said.

The details available before the agreement goes before the board include changes to the use of the different meal plan accounts so that students may, once their Alternative dollars have run out, use their Prime dollars at WLUSU food services like the Terrace.

There will also be an end to any kind of rollover from first-year’s meal plans and students in apartment style residence will be required to purchase a $1,200 annual meal plan — funds that can be spent anywhere as part of the new “Flex food” account replacing Convenience dollars.

Dawson added that as part of the negotiations, WLUSU will have access to some funds from the dining hall levy the university currently collects. “We’ve granted some access of WLUSU into that capital levy fund so that they don’t have to keep going back to students to get approval for upgrades to food service locations,” he explained.

WLUSU president Kyle Walker noted that the commission WLUSU will pay to the university for each Prime dollar spent at WLUSU businesses will be substantially higher.

“We’re not making money off of this at all, we’re going to come close to breaking even on it so we can float the university’s Food Services through some of their lost sales if that happens.”

The current WLUSU board of directors will see the agreement in a meeting Apr. 15. “It was important to me that it go before this board, they had put a lot of hard work into it,” Walker said.

—Compiled by Mike Lakusiak