At the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS) Legislative Council meeting on March 22, Noah Lew and Catherine Jeffery were appointed to fill two vacant positions on the Council, Vice-President (VP) Finance and Arts Representative to SSMU. The Council also discussed possible projects to improve the Leacock Building, such as renovating the Arts Lounge. A plan to repurpose the Leacock terrace into an amphitheatre and the Leacock Space Project–which aims to redesign certain spaces within the Leacock Building–were also discussed.
The Council also provided an update on the 2017 Arts Frosh. According to VP Social Kat Sviknushin, the Arts Frosh Committee has already been hired and a record-breaking number of over 700 applications for Arts Frosh Leaders were received this year.
Motions to appoint VP Finance and Arts Representative to SSMU
Arts Financial Management Committee (FMC) Representative Lew was appointed as AUS VP Finance to replace former VP Finance Deepak Punjabi, who resigned on March 20. Lew was elected AUS VP Finance in the 2017 AUS Winter Executive Election on Feb. 23 for the 2017-18 term and was previously scheduled to begin his term on May 1.
“This motion would allow me to begin my term early so there’s no interim period when AUS has no one responsible for AUS finances,” Lew said. "I’ve already been doing my training and transition sessions with the previous VP Finance, so I’m aware of my duties and [I’m] able to perform them.”
AUS President Becky Goldberg addressed the confusion and speculation around Punjabi’s reason for resignation.
“[Punjabi] found a job off campus,” Goldberg said. “The reason we didn’t [reveal this initially] is because you shouldn’t necessarily be encouraged to find a job part way through another job, but I’m glad that he’s doing what he needs to do.”
Arts Community Engagement (ACE) Committee Commissioner Jeffery was appointed as the Arts Representative to SSMU. She was elected as the incoming Arts Representative for the 2017-18 term, but will start her term early as a replacement for former Arts Representative Igor Sadikov, who resigned from his position on March 8.
Space improvements to Leacock Building
Councillors discussed the progress of the Leacock Space Project, an initiative that was started in 2014 to redesign and renovate spaces in the Leacock Building. Plans for SNAX–the student-run cafe located on the first floor of Leacock–are included in the project.
“[The Leacock Space Project] is pretty costly and we don’t have the money for it, but there are a few things that are pretty central and would actually improve student life, like adding seating at SNAX,” Goldberg said.
According to Goldberg, AUS was unable to apply to the Arts Undergraduate Improvement Fund (AUIF) for funding to implement these changes, as a commitment of finances from the Faculty of Arts was not pledged until after AUIF deadlines. However, there is the possibility of casting an online vote to secure funding with AUIF, specifically to install coverage for recycling bins, trash cans, and seating at SNAX.
A majority of the Council expressed their interest in renovating the Arts Lounge space in the Leacock basement. Goldberg explained that in order to make any significant changes to the lounge, AUS must consult with Campus Space and Planning, then hire professionals to assess the lounge and decide what improvements can be made.
VP Academic Erik Partridge spoke about the Leacock Terrace, for which construction is scheduled to begin in 2018.
“[McGill is] planning to renovate the Leacock Terrace to include an amphitheatre in the space between Leacock and McTavish, which would involve re-sloping that area, and they would like to make it available for students,” Partridge said.
Partridge also expressed concerns he had about the practicality of the amphitheatre.
“It’s somewhat problematic because it would be an outdoor amphitheatre without a roof and I don’t know how many of you actually want to stay outside in the winter,” Partridge said.