SU corrects University of Calgary administration MacHall spin

April 26, 2016  |   Found in Media Releases // MyMacHall Dispute // News

April 26, 2016

Yesterday the University of Calgary published a post responding to the SU’s announcement of the injunction court date set to block the takeover of MacHall.

Instead of clarifying the record, the university’s statement deliberately withheld and misstated the facts.


University statement: “If the university assumes management and operations of Mac Hall the building will remain fully open and operational for students and the campus community. As has been stated repeatedly, the university will not “confiscate” SU revenues.”

FACT:  University administration is seeking to confiscate the $1.9 million of the SU’s annual leasing revenues from SU tenants occupying SU spaces in MacHall. What remains unclear is why university administration is attempting to conceal their true intent from students and the public. In fact, the university administration already sent a letter to all SU tenants on April 21, 2016 telling each of them to make their rent cheques payable to the university as of May 6, 2016. The injunction hearing to determine whether university administration will get away with this is scheduled for May 5 at 2:00 p.m.


University statement:  “The SU will continue to run all of the businesses it owns and operates in Mac Hall, and collect the revenues. This includes the MacEwan Conference and Event Centre, Bound and Copied, Stör, The Den and Black Lounge, and the MacEwan Hall concert venue.”

FACT: On Nov. 9, 2015, the university’s lawyers originally informed the SU that the university would assume the SU’s rights in MacHall, including “the collection of revenues from commercial leases or commercial activities” in the SU’s allocated space. This sweeping statement clearly showed the university administration’s intent to confiscate all commercial revenues, including those generated by SU businesses.  After negative media attention, the university later changed this position, but these reactive changes only demonstrate the university administration’s unjust MacHall takeover plan is being modified on the fly.


University statement:  “The university is committed to working with the SU to continue to support student programs and services in Mac Hall through the utilization of net proceeds received from third-party (not SU) tenants in the building.”

FACT:  University administration has never once justified why they’re terminating the operating agreement for MacHall or why they’re entitled to a single dollar of the money generated though the commercial leasing of the SU’s space in MacHall – which the SU uses solely to fund student initiatives and programming. They have not explained publicly or privately how they will “work with the SU to continue to support” the SU’s programs and services if their unjust MacHall takeover plan succeeds.


University statement:  The university wants to use the “net proceeds received from third-party (not SU) tenants in the building.”

FACT: The third party tenants in MacHall occupy SU space – not university space. Any proceeds from those leases belong to the SU – not the university.


University statement: “The current License of Occupation, Operating and Management Agreement (LOOMA) refers to the university as owner. The LOOMA was signed by both the SU and the university on December 9, 1999.”

FACT: The SU and university reached a deal in 1969 whereby the SU owns 55 percent of MacHall. The SU has invested over $19 million since the building was constructed. The SU doesn’t dispute that this line is in the LOOMA; however, it is the SU’s position that it is not correct. The SU has decades of documentation confirming SU co-ownership of MacHall. The SU’s complete legal position on this issue is available in our statement of claim.


University statement:  “The university is not terminating the operating and management agreement four years before the end of its term.  The agreement expired December 9, 2015 and was extended through the mediation period.  It now expires May 6, 2016.”

FACT:  In 1999, when the university and the SU reached the current operating and management agreement, students understood that it was intended to be in place for 20 years – until 2019.

In fact, the agreement contained 3 five year terms and 5 one year terms, all of which would automatically renew, for a total term of 20 years. The third five year term ended on Dec. 9, 2014. On Sept. 23, 2014 the SU received a letter from university administration that the first of the 5 one year renewal would be in place until Dec. 9, 2015, at which point the university would be terminating the agreement, four full years before the end of the terms provided for in the agreement.

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