TCSA General Meeting: Student centre plan

student centre

Illustration by Will Willis

Trent University students will have to pay an extra cost of $95.01 next academic year for the student centre said President Braden Freer during Thursday’s TCSA general meeting in Gzowski 110.

Order came at 3:16 pm as the association was unable to find members to fill the 20 member quota to start the meeting.

Following this, the hour and thirty minute meeting was mostly centred on discussion regarding the student center.

Comically put by TCSA President Braden Freer “this is probably why most of you are here.”

Originally proposed as a 36,000 square foot building, the center is now being slated at 19,400 square feet.

While the funding for the student center is still up in the air, now that the student levy is passed, the TCSA can afford the mortgage. Unfortunately there a few critical issues that need to be sorted out beforehand.

This issues include the levy passed, $95.01 for the 2015-2016 academic year for the next thirty years. The referendum for the levy passed in 2013. As well as acquiring the mortgage from the bank.

No bank would hand out the loan because the student center cannot be repossessed when it sits on university land.

Freer continues, “They want some form of leverage, this is the guarantee.” Therefore, the bank will not loan out the 10 million dollars without some guarantee. This is where Trent’s board of directors comes in.

“The way this is possible, if the university guarantees our loan. What this would mean is that if the TCSA ever defaults in its payments [i.e. doesn’t pay the mortgage] the levy would ideally go under their control [the banks] until an association gets created, which would then take over the ownership of the building.”

“Finances must be sound.” Trent’s student population is below six thousand students. The loan is calculated to be around “just shy of eight million dollars. ($7,973,480)”
Dr. Leo Groarke Trent’s newly elected president was also at the meeting. The first time a president was at a general meeting said Braden Freer.

President Groarke stated “I’m a strong supporter of the levy system”.

Now why should students pay for a building they won’t see?

One cohort will never see the center even though the levy would be paid by them as well. Groarke mentions it’s about “we should feel good because we help in its legacy.”

“The university has made a commitment to put four million dollars into the project.”

The best possible situation is the university puts four million. The university will have to raise money and if not pay it from its own pocket.

Has this ever been done at Trent before? “No, not at Trent”.

The TCSA admittedly has never balanced a multimillion dollar building project before. Yet the decision was made for six thousand students by just a handful. Seven people voting yes.

Other than the lackluster advertisement for the general meeting most students will not hear about this until more by-laws are passed.