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March 2, 2009 | by  | in Film Opinion |
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Make a Difference: Support the Campus Hub

Sandwiched between gigs and other activities in the Orientation programme is a VUWSA Special General Meeting, called to seek a mandate from students to contribute up to $12 million in funding over a 15 year period toward a major redevelopment of the Kelburn campus.

The project is proposed to be jointly funded by the University and the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association Trust (VUWSAT). The VUWSA Trust was established in 1975 to set aside reserves to extend the Student Union Building, a project that was opened in 1992. Amongst other investments, the VUWSAT owns Vic Books and the Mount Street property occupied by Student Job Search. The VUWSAT also holds the building levy which students pay each year as part of their VUWSA subscription. This money can only be spent after a VUWSA general meeting passes a resolution committing the funds to a given project.

The VUWSAT plans on targeting its financial support at aspects of the campus redevelopment project that offer students the most direct benefit. Specifically, the students’ association and its Trust are keen to support redevelopment of the central campus to improve social and study spaces for students.

As returning students all know, the current Quad area is long overdue for a makeover. The proposed upgrade comes in response to feedback from students and staff about the need for improved facilities and spaces on campus. According to research by the VUWSAT, students consider the redevelopment of the Quad area to be a top priority.

The current Kelburn campus is lagging behind in comparison to other New Zealand University campuses; an improved Campus Hub would help turn this around. This is part of a wider 10 year redevelopment strategy to improve the Kelburn campus.

While some aspects of the redevelopment will take longer to complete, real differences will be evident in a mere 12 months. If students vote to support the VUWSAT contributing funds to this project, within a year the following services will be provided:

Improved clubs and representative group spaces, including designated meeting spaces and storage areas;

A new bar where students can socialise, which also serves food;

A redeveloped space for gigs with improved acoustics and sound proofing and increased capacity and stage visibility. The plan is to excavate the current Quad area down to Level 1 of the Rankine Brown Building (the Library), bringing this area down to the same level as the top of the Student Union Building. The intention of this project is to make the two spaces more integrated through this excavation work.

The central space will be enclosed unlike the current Quad, which despite offering some cover, suffers from leaks, poor acoustics, and in winter is especially cold and windswept. This is why events such as Student Representative Council meetings (weekly events where students get to debate the issues of the day and hold VUWSA to account), have not been held in the Quad since 2006.

The Student Union Building will be upgraded as part of the project. This will mean the Union Hall has increased capacity for events and is once again a venue of choice for cultural events in Wellington. Due to improved sound proofing, gigs will be able to go later into the night without disturbing the residents in Kelburn. VUWSA-affiliated clubs and representative groups will have improved spaces and facilities, helping to foster a stronger student campus culture.

To help visualise the redevelopment project, pay a visit to Level 4 of the campus Library, where work has already begun on improving study spaces. The first phase of redevelopment has involved renovation of existing study spaces, new furniture, and various collections and services being moved around within the Library. The University are currently seeking feedback on these changes and your suggestions for the next phase. Visit
www.victoria.ac.nz/library to find out more information and provide input into this process.

The Campus Hub project is the most significant redevelopment at the Kelburn campus in many years. The decision made by the student body on March 4th will have a significant impact for us and for future generations of students. I urge you to find out more about this project and get involved in the future direction of your campus. Check out www.campushub.co.nz

It is important that students come to the Special General Meeting that decides whether VUWSA and the VUWSAT should continue and expand their contribution to this project. This meeting is being held at 12noon in the Quad on Wednesday 4 March.

I look forward to seeing you there. In solidarity and service,

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