Administration owes explanation

Since 2005, Queen’s students have paid a mandatory annual student fee of $70 to pay for the construction of the Queen’s Centre Phases 1, 2 and 3.

Construction on Phases 2 and 3 has been stalled since the 2009 opening of the ARC. On Jan. 19, AMS Assembly passed a motion in reaction to the uncompleted phases.

Initially, the AMS had promised a capital contribution of $25.5 million from the student body but now will contribute only $10.6 million to Phase 1 alone.

The AMS decision to cancel the mandatory student fee saves each student from funneling $141 per year into a non-existent project. It’s the administration’s turn to be vocal.

Cancelling further construction was a wise decision considering the University’s current financial troubles. Admin is obligated to be transparent with the student body that helped finance the project.

Queen’s hasn’t released a formal a public statement regarding the future of Phases 2 and 3 since claiming they were postponed indefinitely in 2009. A lot of questions have arisen in two years surrounding the Union Street wasteland that was once destined to become a field house and an arena.

They owe it to their investors and students to outline a plan — or at least be honest if there isn’t one.

Walking around campus, it’s obvious that construction was brought to a halt. There’s a vacant lot and a chain-link fence at Union and Division Streets, and the PEC is vacant.

We deserve a comprehensive explanation detailing why Phases 2 and 3 aren’t financially viable. It’s still unclear how Phase 1 of the Queen’s Centre construction came in $41 million over budget. The promise of newly-constructed facilities was used as a lure for prospective students, but now amounts to false advertising.

If the project was mismanaged, there needs to be horizontal accountability for whoever made the errors. With a constantly changing student cohort, administration isn’t accountable to a permanent population that remebers seven-year-old promises. Changes need to be made, whether through parameters of internal accountability, or through the hiring of an external management firm to oversee construction.

Administration needs to have the decency to tell Queen’s students what went wrong. Principal Daniel Woolf needs to make a State of the Union address that tells us clearly about the financial health of the University and where we stand on a number of projects. An honest and transparent explanation is all we need.

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