A Lick of Paint for Club Spaces, the Hive Café and Reggie’s

Concordia Student Union to Spend $375,000 on Summer Renovations

  • Reggie’s Bar, pictured here, along with The Hive Café and club spaces will get $375,000 in renovations this summer. Photo Erin Sparks

Club offices, Reggie’s and the Hive Café are about to get makeovers, courtesy of the Concordia Student Union.

At a special council meeting on July 10, councillors voted in favour of spending $350,000 on renovations to the student-run Hive Café and Reggie’s Bar and up to another $25,000 on renovations to clubs’ office spaces.

The original motion recommended by the CSU’s policy committee only included the funding for the Hive and Reggie’s, but an amendment was proposed by VP Clubs and Internal James Tyler Vaccaro to allocate the additional $25,000 towards club space.

The funding will come from the CSU’s interest account.

“The clubs budget would have money to cover the items that need to be purchased, including desks, chairs, carpeting and paint,” said Vaccaro. “But the items that will be purchased will fall into assets and [the funding] should not be taken out of the operations account, so it would make more sense for it to come out of this [interest account].”

VP Finance Scott Carr said that higher spending in the short-term could create some “financial uncertainty”—a liquidity problem—for the CSU. Add that to the fact that renovating club space is considered an asset purchase and not an operating expense and the only possibility was dipping into this fund, he said.

Several councillors expressed concern about the manoeuvre in light of criticisms of financial mismanagement by last year’s CSU. There was also some confusion about the financial reasoning behind the move. Debate on the motion and amendment lasted about an hour.

Councillor Chuck Wilson asked why the funding for renovations to club space didn’t come up in the finance or policy committees and hadn’t followed the usual process for the approval of asset purchases.

Carr said that making the funding available now—as opposed to waiting until the CSU had more cash on hand—would mean that the renovations to club space could be done during the summer months, when fewer students are roaming Concordia’s halls.

“It would be much more complicated to do [the renovations] during the [school] year than during the summer,” he said.

Councillor Wendy Krauss-Heitmann said she hoped Carr would take the time to better explain the CSU’s finances to council sometime in the near future.

“I can’t be the only person in this room who’s starting to get a little bit paranoid wondering what the fuck happened last year,” she said, referring to the financial situation left behind by last year’s CSU.

The CSU’s financial committee will oversee how the money will be spent on the renovations to club space, Carr said. A list will be drawn up of all the renovations that need to be done, and then the most urgent and cost-efficient projects will be green-lighted.

Roughly 30 office spaces are shared by the approximately 80 clubs operating under the umbrella of the CSU.

Turning the Hive Café into an alternative to Chartwells-owned cafeterias was part of the new executive’s campaign platform. The space is currently used to serve the free Loyola Lunch and host parties put on by clubs and student associations.

Taking a Stand Against Bill C-309

The CSU also voted unanimously on Wednesday to condemn the passage of Bill C-309 in the House of Commons. The bill, which makes it illegal to wear a mask or other disguise at a riot or unlawful assembly, was signed into law on June 19.

Councillor Nicholas Pidiktakis, who proposed the motion, said the infringement on citizens’ freedoms was “incredibly disturbing” and that he wanted to “bring attention to this […] political culture that is more supportive of retaining public security over personal liberty.”

The bill established a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for wearing a mask at a riot, and a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment for doing so at an unlawful assembly.

Critics of the bill are concerned about the fact that deciding when a protest becomes an unlawful assembly is left up to police, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

On March 28, the CSU voted to condemn the similar municipal bylaw P-6 that was amended during the Maple Spring to prohibit protesters from concealing their identities and required that organizers submit an itinerary to police at least eight hours before a protest.

The special council meeting also saw council appoint Zach Barman and Katrina Tarondo to the Judicial Board. Gemma Acco had sought a position on the board but was instead appointed a member-at-large of the CSU’s appointments committee. Three vacant positions remain on JB.

A shareholders’ meeting of CUSA Corp, the for-profit arm of the CSU that operates Reggie’s, was supposed to take place just before the special council meeting, but was cancelled when fewer than the seven councillors needed to hold the meeting showed up.

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