Adding the Shatner building’s fourth floor to last week’s Activities Night received mixed reviews from clubs and services. According to Students’ Society Vice-President Clubs and Services Floh Herra-Vega, the decision to open the top floor was made because this year SSMU recognized more clubs than ever before.
To help draw traffic, large, popular clubs were assigned to the top floor. However, many of those clubs were unhappy with being placed in the out-of-the-way clubs lounge.
Sabrina Mawani, U2 IDS and Biomedical Sciences of Habitat for Humanity was initially worried.
“A lot of people don’t use the fourth floor,” she said. “Although, I thought it would be a lot worse.”
Habitat wasn’t particularly suffering from reduced traffic. “It’s more spacious [up here], and less crowded. You get a chance to tell more people as opposed to shouting.”
Representatives of the Gamer’s Guild, also on the fourth floor, were more enthusiastic.
“Look at all these names we have,” said Andrew Bernstein, keyholder of the Gamers Guild, pointing to his list. “Plus, all the clubs in this lounge are intellectual clubs. These [board] games are intellectual games.”
Although the smaller clubs didn’t mind the change, the larger clubs were less at ease.
Dan Radmanovic, president of the International Relations Students’ Association of McGill University, was disappointed with the decision.
“SSMU put the prestigious clubs up here,” he said. “Look who else is up here. There’s been no traffic. Last year we were club of the year. We had 550 people sign up [at Activities Night] and this year we’re just under 200.”
Radmanovic stressed that Activities Night is important for recruiting students rather than having a quiet atmosphere to fully explain the mandate of his club.
“People have been asking us ‘Why aren’t you downstairs?’ I don’t know,” he said.
The McGill Debating Union cited similar concerns, and noted dramatically fewer sign-ups than in previous years.
Certain clubs noted advantages to being on the fourth floor, namely groups who currently occupy offices on the top level of Shatner.
Pascale Dequen of le Centre pour les Étudiants Francophones pointed out the benefits.
“It’s less crowded, less loud and there’s less traffic,” she said. “Also, it’s an advantage to be right in front of our office.”
“I think it would be better if we were [also] handing out pamphlets downstairs,” she added.
Meg Atkinson, U2 Anthropology, who was representing the McGill Global AIDS Coalition, summarized the general feeling.
“I was kind of surprised when I found out [our table would be here]. There’s not as much traffic, but it’s not detrimental. I do have mixed feelings but I’m happy to go with the flow.”