The Faculty of Arts Lounge is set to be open to students on April 27, 2012.
Two years ago, the University of Calgary's Board of Governors voted to merge the faculties of communication and culture, fine arts, humanities and social sciences. Since this merger there has not been a sense of unity between the faculties other than the common name. The faculty of arts has been trying to get an arts lounge for about 20 years, and it is now nearing completion.
Dean of Arts Kevin McQuillan explained that the purpose of the lounge is to unify the diverse population of the faculty of arts and give them a space of their own.
"The opening of the Arts Student Lounge is an exciting development for our students. It will be a gathering point for our students and student groups from across the faculty who have had no well-equipped meeting space until now," said McQuillan.
The Arts Lounge is currently being built in the Social Sciences building across from the Program Information Centre. There have been a few delays, but they have recently acquired some extra space.
Associate dean Geoffrey Simmins, who is responsible for the infrastructure of the lounge, said "this new project is very exciting as it is going to be right in the middle of campus. We literally have 1,500 people walking by the space every day, so it will be a convenient meeting place." He continued, "the Arts Lounge will be a central hub for arts students and will complement existing departmental lounges."
The lounge is being funded by a combination of funding from Quality Money, the Students' Union and additional funds from the faculty of arts. Quality Money is a partnership between the su and the U of C.
Each year the su is provided with approximately $1.5 million from the U of C Board of Governors to invest in projects that will enhance the overall student experience. Ideas for these projects come from students and other members of the U of C community.
The lounge will need to accommodate the diverse population of students who will use it due to the differing range of majors in the faculty.
The current arts representative Kelsy Norman expressed excitement for the new lounge, saying it will be great for students.
"I want the lounge to be run by the students and in the way that they want it," said Norman. "Students have come up to me asking to be a part of it and so we are considering having a committee of students to run it."
The lounge will feature a series of workspaces, room for movie showings, plays and enough space for students to hang out, a place "where people can study and hangout in the same place."