$18K deal for pub

Commerce Society will pay for booking and employment privileges

ComSoc President Dave Waugh (left) and EngSoc President Jordan Black are hoping to sign the contract today.
ComSoc President Dave Waugh (left) and EngSoc President Jordan Black are hoping to sign the contract today.
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Clark Hall Pub is getting an $18,000 boost from the Commerce Society towards its reopening, but it’s not coming for free.

ComSoc passed a motion at its Annual General Meeting for ComSoc and the Engineering Society to sign a contract to give EngSoc $18,000 towards reopening Clark Hall Pub in exchange for benefits for ComSoc.

The contract still needs approval from EngSoc Council tonight.

The contract gives ComSoc priority for events on Friday nights after 8 p.m., and 24 free bookings per academic year. ComSoc will get all bookings beyond the original 24 at 50 per cent off the regular booking fee. Commerce students will also get the preferred employment opportunities engineering students will get at Clark Hall Pub.

The contract includes an optional two-year extension, which, should EngSoc decide to accept it, will cost ComSoc an additional $7,000.

Outgoing ComSoc President Dave Waugh said ComSoc sees the contract as an opportunity to do something positive for the Queen’s community.

“I was speaking to [outgoing EngSoc President] Charlie Scott back in early March and I asked him, ‘Charlie, what’s the hold up, what’s keeping you from being able to reopen Clark?’ He explained that there were a number of issues, but foremost was a simple need cash.”

Waugh said the initial agreement to create a contract happened between Scott and himself. When incoming EngSoc President Jordan Black came into office last month, they completed the contract’s finalized version.

“The final version of the contract, which included a number of revisions, was produced by Jordan and I after soliciting input on the initial drafts from our respective constituents,” Waugh said.

The $18,000 comes from a $40 opt-outable fee commerce students pay annually that goes into the Core Fund, a general fund used to finance projects that benefit undergraduate business students.

Waugh said the Core Fund generated approximately $34,440 in revenue for the 2007-08 year, representing an opt-in rate of about 75 per cent. Waugh said there was no specific formula by which they arrived at those numbers.

“I asked what they needed, and I considered what we had,” he said. “We could have pegged a certain number and matched it to, for example, their [General Manager’s] salary, but we didn’t want it to be that we were paying for their [General Manager], we wanted it to be that we were contributing to re-opening Clark Hall Pub for Queen’s students.”

If Clark Hall Pub doesn’t open by Dec. 1, 2008, the contract gives ComSoc the right to demand repayment of $15,000 of the original $18,000.

Waugh said the additional $3,000 is a “deposit.” “[It] is a tool to align our interests. If we faced no risk whatsoever, we would care very little whether or not the bar actually opens,” he said. “The reality is that we care deeply about ensuring the pub’s success, and our willingness to share some of the risk by putting our money where our mouth is, so to speak, reinforces that gesture.”

Waugh said the risk of losing $3,000 is a means of ensuring ComSoc remains committed to this endeavor.

“I am absolutely confident we’ll see this pub reopen in September, and that’s great news not just for EngSoc and ComSoc, but for all Queen’s students, as well.”

Waugh will sign the contract on behalf of incoming ComSoc President Matthew Price, who’s on exchange in France.

In an e-mail to the Journal, Price said he fully supports the contract.

“Especially with the upcoming closure of Alfie’s, Clark Hall will become very important to continue to offer these events in an environment conductive to their success.”

EngSoc President Jordan Black said he won’t formally announce the deal to the engineering community unless the contract officially passes at EngSoc Council tonight.

Black said consultations regarding the contract occurred between the incoming and outgoing EngSoc executive, Clark Hall Pub’s management team and EngSoc Board of Directors.

“Through a long consultation process with many parties, we have come up with what we both see as a great contract,” he said. “If EngSoc Council agrees, we will sign the deal and announce the good news.”

Black said EngSoc will use the $18,000 for infrastructure improvements to the pub.

“The vast majority will go into capital investments,” he said. “We’re looking into doing some major overhauls with the floors, walls, lighting, bathrooms and those kinds of things.”

Black said Clark Hall Pub would still be able to open without the $18,000.

“Our hands are not tied. We are looking for ways to fund capital purchases and deliver a better service to engineering students, and the entire campus for that matter. Commerce is looking for a venue and opportunity to host some great events—exactly the service we are trying to provide.”

Black said EngSoc’s mandate is to provide learning opportunities for engineering students. Under the contract, commerce students will get the same hiring opportunity as engineering students.

“Past hiring practices have been to always hire the best candidate, regardless of faculty, but that if a tie were to arise, the job would go to an engineering student,” he said. “This deal will place commerce students on the same level as engineers, when compared to other faculties.” Black said making the same type of agreement with another faculty could be possible, but would be difficult to schedule.

“I wouldn’t say that there’s no deal that can be made, but there are only so many days we can reserve for different groups,” he said. “Between the days we’ve reserved for commerce and the regular operating nights … there is still room, but it would be more challenging.”

To see the contract, please go to queensjournal.ca

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