Clark plan low on reality

On Dec. 15 Engineering Society Vice-President (Operations) Rob Macnamara released his report on how to improve Clark Hall Pub and EngSoc. Unfortunately, it lacked concrete suggestions as to how to get the pub open, first.

The report is divided into five sections: Clark Hall Pub recommendations, safety and security, accountability, permanent staffing and EngSoc’s potential incorporation. Addressing each of those issues is crucial to EngSoc services’ functionality. Macnamara is right to recommend sound business practices such as standardizing training and implementing staff contracts. But many of his recommendations come with a hefty price tag that the report effectively admits EngSoc can’t afford without increasing its student fee or pursuing “other revenue sources.”

The report states EngSoc would need $210,000 annually to implement the recommendations Macnamara proposes. The report also points out EngSoc’s annual cash flow is $150,000. Although some of Macnamara’s recommendations are sound, they’re far from feasible and his report gives little to no clear explanation as to where EngSoc is going to get the money. Macnamara’s suggestion to hire two permanent staff members—a business affairs manager and a bookkeeper—is a good one. EngSoc needs permanent staff members to ensure proper accounting practices are being upheld. Despite the AMS’s occasionally limiting and frustrating bureaucracy, following in its footsteps in this regard is wise: the AMS has a permanent staffing system that works.

But much of the report seems like a euphemistic attempt to conceal Clark’s disastrous state, and bring a glossy “re-envisioning Clark’s marketing scheme” attitude to the forefront. This is evident in its focus on purchasing items such as a new mix table and re-painting the pub.

Closing the pub may have been the right thing to do in the face of mismanagement that endangered the University’s liquor licence. But refusing to make the pub’s financial records and chartered accountants Collins Barrow’s report public, EngSoc makes it seem suspiciously like they’re hiding behind a hasty, groundless closure decision. EngSoc owes the pub’s staff an apology for firing them via e-mail and being unresponsive and inconsiderate after the fact.

They owe the student body an apology for the pub’s sorry financial and operational state and for denying them the whole truth.

If Rob Macnamara and the rest of the EngSoc executive think a new coat of paint can fix Clark’s financial woes, they’re in for a rude awakening.

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