By Scott Strasser, March 28 2017 —
Twenty on-campus projects got the green light after the Students’ Union approved Quality Money funding on March 28.
The projects were approved with a 11–0–1 vote by Students’ Legislative Council. Haskyane School of business representative Ryan Wallace abstained.
The Quality Money program is a partnership between the University of Calgary and the SU that distributes roughly $1.6 million per year to “projects that will enhance the overall student experience.” This year’s total amount of funding for projects was about $2 million.
SU president Stephan Guscott says Quality Money gives students the ability to decide what should happen on campus.
“[Quality Money] is an incredible opportunity for students to have the agency to find funding for ideas they’re interested in and leave a lasting impact on campus,” Guscott said. “It’s grown to be a flagship program in Canada to fund projects to improve the student experience.”
The approved projects were recommended to SLC by the Quality Money committee, which is composed of SU executives, students-at-large and other members of SLC. The committee meets throughout the year to assess the proposed projects and whittle the list down to their recommendations.
The biggest projects approved this year include $492,694 towards Gauntlet office renovations, $448,395 towards study space improvements in the kinesiology building and $313,173 to redevelop the Clubs East space on the first floor of MacHall.
The program has seen controversy in the past. In April 2016, an hour-long argument ensued in SLC after the Quality Money committee declined to make proposed changes to the recommended list of projects. Despite being voted down by SLC members on March 29 2016, Quality Money committee returned to council a week later with no changes to the list. The recommended list passed the second time it was voted on.
In October 2016, Guscott — who chairs Quality Money committee — proposed changes to the Quality Money Terms of Reference. One of the changes included increasing the voting threshold from a simple majority to a two-thirds super majority.
“Last year there were a couple bumps in the Quality Money process and this year, to remedy those, I brought forward some recommendations to SLC in October,” Guscott said. “We’re always trying to improve our processes, to make them better and more efficient.”
The 2017 list of approved projects will go to the U of C Board of Governors for final approval in May. If approved by the board, the funds will be allocated to each project over the summer.
For a full list of the approved projects, click here.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated the projects passed unanimously, when in fact Ryan Wallace abstained from the vote.