Celebrating 60+ Years
MacHall operating agreement and ownership dispute
In the process of negotiating the Licence of Occupation, Operation, and Management Agreement (LOOMA), the SU discovered we were originally co-owners of the student centre. The SU paid 55% of the original construction costs of the building and was promised a 55% ownership stake in the building by the University of Calgary.
The university’s current administration refuses to acknowledge students’ ownership and has attempted to treat the SU as a tenant in MacHall. We’ve been negotiating for over two years and have been unable to reach a mutual understanding of our interest in the building.
We’ve been entrusted with the responsibility to be stewards of well over $20 million in investments that students have made over the past 61 years. This is a complicated negotiation that gets to the heart of what value students’ investments contribute to our campus.
In response to the university’s open letter published on Sept. 22, 2015, the SU points out that many elements of Dr. Marshall’s letter and recent public comments cast serious doubt on her stated goal of working together to improve the student experience. The SU’s response can be found here where the SU continues to request from the university any evidence to counter students’ ownership claim or any documentation showing that the University of Calgary did not act as a trustee of student money in exchange for a student ownership percentage of the building.
For more detailed information, please see the following summary documents:
60 Years of Student Investment?
More than 60 years ago, our students began to set money aside to invest in our student centre. Beginning in the academic year of 1953/54, the Students’ Union began to collect a building fee, with the goal of constructing a students’ union building. Eventually, in 1969, undergraduate students paid 55% of the cost of constructing the original MacEwan Hall. Over the years, the Students’ Union (SU) and students continued to make substantial contributions to each of the major construction phases and redevelopment projects in MacHall.
MacHall, the SU’s Home
After more than 40 years as the building managers of the student centre, the SU now runs many excellent programs, events, businesses, and services all with the goal of improving the university experience for University of Calgary undergrads. Many of the original investments in spaces throughout the student centre also laid the foundation for successful businesses that help keep student fees low.
However, students are often unaware that some of their favourite events, programs, services and businesses are actually run by the SU and that a history of investments made by students who came before them help make these initiatives possible. Here are a few examples, but you can look for more throughout MacHall:
- SU Q Centre
- SU Campus Food Bank
- SU Clubs
- SU Volunteer Services
- Info Centre/Lost & Found
- Bound & Copied
- The Den
That’s why the SU is running the “60 Years of Student Investment” campaign, to help students understand that many of the memorable experiences for undergraduates outside the classroom are the result of the stewardship and investments made by our alumni.
Using banners hung in large, open, high-traffic spaces throughout the facility, the goal is to draw attention to the history of MacHall and the SU, and to invite current University of Calgary students to take pride in it. The campaign also intends to support and provoke a positive, ongoing public conversation about the future of the building.