Bridge divides candidates

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The revitalization of the JDUC was thrust to the forefront of Wednesday night’s AMS vice-president of operations debate.

Candidates Peter Green of Team BGP, Craig Draeger of Team PDA and Nicola Plummer of Team TNL drew a full crowd in the Lower Ceilidh of the JDUC for the second night of AMS executive election debates.

Topics debated included the application of the $1.2 million JDUC revitalization fund, which the AMS must use before 2015 as outlined by an agreement with the University.

Plummer, Comm ’13, began the discussion by emphasizing TNL’s plans to construct a bridge between the JDUC’s second story and Common Ground in the Queen’s Centre.

She attempted to reinforce the initiative’s validity by drawing a distinction between revitalization and standard renovations, arguing that TNL’s plans fall under the former.

“Renovation is deferred maintenance like windows, retiling and getting the building “back to where it should be,” Plummer said. “Revitalizing is breathing new life into [the] JDUC.”

Draeger, ArtSci ’13, said the fund should be used to remedy several issues, primarily related to the functionality and accessibility of the JDUC.

“We need to make renovations to make it a more viable space for student life and activities,” Draeger said. “Spending [the money] on a single project is not only irresponsible – it’s disrespectful to our members.”

In response to TNL and PDA, Green, ArtSci ’13, said BGP would put forward a marketing survey to students next September to evaluate the team’s proposals.

One of their proposals includes the construction of a walkway between the JDUC’s second floor and the Queen’s Centre.

“We can’t have candidates determine how to spend a million dollars,” Green said. “That is an irresponsible way to spend money…we need to consult students because the money is theirs.”

In a rebuttal, Plummer said TNL won’t move forward with the bridge without student consultation.

“We thought it was more important to provide a fully-formed, well-researched idea to students so they can see and start to imagine what they could do with that money,” Plummer said.

With a 4.9-meter differential between the second stories of the Queen’s Centre and the JDUC, Draeger said bridging a direct connection would violate Queen’s accessibility policy. He compared the proposed bridge to the unfinished construction of Phases 2 and 3 of the Queen’s Centre. “You know what you get when you build one-third of a bridge? A pretty useless eyesore,” he said.

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