AMS gives services summer facelift

Construction of the new ticketing service, Destinations, will cost $22,000. Ticketing brought in four-fifths of the UBS’s sales.
Construction of the new ticketing service, Destinations, will cost $22,000. Ticketing brought in four-fifths of the UBS’s sales.

Over the summer, several services in the JDUC have gone under the AMS knife for a nip and tuck.

“The changes are so different,” Jenn Hirano, AMS VP (operations), said of the student life centre. “It is really exciting and it will be more relevant to students.”

Hirano said the renovations to the UBS Exchange, the College Book Merchant, the Common Ground and the QP were made with the Queen’s Centre in mind. “We wanted to maximize the [amount of students] that will be able to use the services prior to the Queen’s Centre,” she said. “Retail space in the Queen’s Centre hasn’t been finalized but we are hoping that all shops get a spot in the centre.”

Hirano said AMS money for the renovations comes from the revenues of other services.

Ticket sales have been removed from the former UBS Exchange—renamed the Green Room—to create a new, distinct service.

The space previously used as an arcade, next to the Common Ground, will house Destinations, a new kiosk selling tickets for the Tricolour bus service, concerts and events both on campus and in the Kingston community.

William Howe, head manager of Destinations, said the split occurred because of demand for tickets.

“It became a strain for the UBS, as it was the main focus of the store,” he said. “[The] AMS felt that the service could be improved for students.”

Howe said the new service will be more relevant.

“Students will have a place to come to find out what is happening and where to go,” he said.

The new service will also help unclog historically long line-ups and sell-outs for bus tickets, he said.

“We are ensuring more buses for next year,” Howe said. “We also have upgraded to a second computer system to sell Tricolour tickets.” He said Destinations also developed a Bus-It student circuit route featuring a bus wrapped in Queen’s colors.

Howe said the service should be fully operable come September and will look “pretty trendy.” Ashik Bhat, AMS student services director, said the construction of Destinations will cost $22,000.

Farron Blanc, Green Room general manager, said the service in the former UBS space will focus on five pillars: music, visual arts, literature, lifestyle and a new mobile community.

Mobile service and cell phones will be added to the service’s sale of books, clothing and music, he said.

Blanc said the Green Room will also be a flexible place for students to sell their own creations and to relax.

“If you have art and want to sell it, the Green Room is the perfect place,” he said. “We also want to have unplugged live sets of campus bands.” Blanc said right now, he is more concerned with the initial success of the service than the implications of the Queen’s Centre.

“We just want to get the Green Room up and running this year,” he said. “But the Queen’s Centre is certainly on our minds.”

Blanc said the Green Room is projecting earnings to be one-fifth of the total revenue made by the UBS last year.

“Four-fifths of the revenue came from Tricolour ticketing,” he said. “Our goal is to break even in the next two years.”

The College Book Merchant, the mom-and-pop stationery and gift store located in the lower level of the JDUC next to the Post Office, became the Tricolour Market May 1, after the AMS take over.

Doug and Sandra Sutcliffe owned the store for 28 years before retiring.

“It is important to stress that it is a new name but we are trying to keep the mentality of the store the same,” said Richard Zussman, Tricolour Market head manager.

Zussman said the new service will sell school supplies, greeting cards and international phone cards, but will reduce its sale of gift items.

“Paint colour, products and layout [of the store] will be changed to be more accessible and appealing for students,” he said.

Zussman said he plans to continue the Sutcliffes’ focus on customer service.

“[The Sutcliffes] had great service and we will continue the friendly staffing,” he said.

“We want to increase the amount of student customers and we don’t want to disenfranchise the old customers.”

Hirano said the AMS purchase price of the College Book Merchant will remain confidential by request of the sellers.

The Common Ground and QP have also undergone renovations.

The Common Ground removed its pool table and built more space for staff prep work and supply storage.

Julie Hirst, AMS food and entertainment director, said the Common Ground renovations cost $12,000.

The QP underwent a $15,100 renovation and removed its carpeting, replacing it with hardwood flooring.

“It is more sanitary and aesthetically pleasing,” said TAPS manager Ian Anderson.

He said the QP also re-upholstered all of the chairs, stools and couches and invested in a new sandwich fridge, which will speed up service.

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