Silence speaks volumes

Illustration by Emily Sicilia

Last Friday, Queen’s Board of Trustees approved an additional $7 million for Phase 1 of the Queen’s Centre to help build the new School of Kinesiology.

The project was already $41 million over budget as of February.

The School of Kinesiology is being built to LEED environmental standards but the University may not apply for LEED certification to save nearly half a million in registration and annual renewal fees.

Queen’s may also use a pre-engineered building for the new arena and move it to west campus to cut costs in Phases 2 and 3 of construction.

The University’s proposed cost-cutting strategies hurt its reputation by appearing to completely disregard earlier priorities.

It’s disappointing that the University has lost sight of its original intention for building the Queen’s Centre—to improve the student experience.

Moving the arena could bring more traffic to west campus, but students were promised a facility in a central location and they should be consulted before any major changes are made.

The University’s disturbing turn to corporatism has seen it break promises and ignore consumer input like the best of the big companies but without any of their business sense.

Although there was no way to anticipate how high construction costs could rise, it’s inexcusable that the administration failed to properly budget for the unexpected.

It’s especially frustrating when students’ mandatory fees have increased despite the project being downsized.

The AMS pledged $25.5 million worth of support for a new student hub; if plans aren’t being followed through, perhaps it’s time to reconsider that amount.

The University has only given token consideration to student opinion.

At AMS Assembly two weeks ago, in which the Vice-Principal (Operations and Finance)’s office gave a Queen’s Centre update, was a laughable attempt to engage the student body.

Students weren’t given straight answers and, by refusing to present figures, the administration gave the impression it couldn’t trust students to handle financial information.

The University cancelled a separate meeting it had called to discuss the Queen’s Centre, further showing its reluctance to listen to student input.

The administration’s lack of transparency shows students they can’t bank on the University’s promises.

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