SLL projects completed

Wilf's take-out counter is just one of the projects SLL funded over the summer. (Photo by: Heather Davidson)

Wilf’s take-out counter is just one of the projects SLL funded over the summer. (Photo by: Heather Davidson)

In an effort to change the timeframe in which projects funded by the Student Life Levy (SLL) become visible on campus, the SLL committee met in June to allocate a third of the money to a handful of projects that will enhance student life.

Projects were put into motion over the summer with the goal of seeing their completion by the beginning of September.

$231,000 was devoted to eight projects, of which six have been completed, with the other two well underway.

The 2-4 Lounge experienced significant transformation as four new study rooms were added.

Foot Patrol will also be getting a new van- a 2013 Toyota Sienna- which will be arriving within the next week.

“We’ve built that into a partnership with Forbes Toyota,” Roly Webster, executive director and Chief Operating Officer of the Students’ Union, said.

“They’ve basically come onboard as a sponsor.”

Webster explained that the funding from SLL for the van wasn’t enough to cover the cost and so Forbes sponsored the difference. In turn, the Students’ Union will be partaking in some initiatives to promote Forbes to students.

Students will also notice that the entrance of Wilf’s has changed due to the high demand for take-out last year. As such, a new take-out station has been installed on the left-hand side of the entrance where a coat check used to be located.

$10,000 has been put into a fund for clubs to access in The Clubs Campus Community Project, a recently launched project.

“So if [a club] has a special idea … they can submit to that funding and get special funding for a project,” explained Webster.

This is easier than clubs applying directly to SLL for funding.

A OneCard swipe system has been installed in The Turret, as well as Wilf’s to keep track of students moving in and out of the facility.

Finally, the Human Resources (HR) website was re-developed in order to make the hiring process more dynamic and easier for students.

“I think we got at it pretty quick because our commitment was we want to make these changes so we can see the difference by September 1,” Webster said of their progress. “We had to put our money where our mouth was.”

“The fact that we were able to get the majority of them done through the summer and ready for students to use right now is a big accomplishment and a big difference from what we’ve seen in the past from SLL,” added Annie Constantinescu, Students’ Union president and CEO.

Two projects, however, have yet to see fruition.

Student feedback software has seen a soft launch. As well, Safe Talk training for orientation week volunteers was not seen through.

“Because of the restrictions on how Safe Talk training can be done, we weren’t able to do it for the icebreakers,” said Webster.

The training teaches participants how to facilitate conversations around mental health. Webster and Constantinescu will be re-evaluating this and will either be launching an alternate option for volunteers or reallocating the money elsewhere in the next set of projects.

The committee will meet again in November to allocate the next third of the levy to another set of projects, and then again in March for the final sum.

For the summer projects, it was largely the committee selecting the projects with help from student feedback over the past year. But Constantinescu explained that from here they want students to be directing where the money is applied.

“Now students have that opportunity- they can now put in proposals, because they are back on campus and we can engage them,” Constantinescu said.

“We’re literally just hoping for 100 per cent student involvement with writing their own proposals and trying to make a difference on campus.”

Students will have until Oct. 17 to apply for funding and will be notified by November if their project will be moving forward.

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