80 Call for Nominations to the Committee to Review Student Activity Space on the St George Campus

PDAD&C #80, 2004-05


To:  Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs                                                             Presidents of Student Societies and Recognized Campus Groups
From:  Vivek Goel, Vice-President and Provost
Date:  April 28, 2005
Re:   Call for Nominations for the Committee to Review Student Activity Space on the St. George Campus

Providing exceptional facilities, including student activity space, is central to the student experience at the University of Toronto. On the St. George Campus, the University operates under a philosophy that student activity space (broadly defined) is available in many nodes around the campus. There are a number of medium to large nodes (e.g., Hart House, International Student Centre, the Sussex Club House), many small nodes (e.g., lounges), and hundreds of tiny nodes. Each of these nodes, in its own way, provides profound and important opportunities for students to learn and engage in the out of classroom experience of the University.

This nodal approach to student activity space was confirmed by the Presidential Task Force on Student Activity Space chaired by then Vice-Provost, Students Ian Orchard in 1999. The Task Force recommended that “a multiple ‘node’ model is the best suited for providing additional space for recognized student groups.” Although it was not a new concept, it was articulated in this fashion to address the recurring question of whether a new all encompassing facility might address a variety of needs. In fact, the Task Force, which included many students, explicitly abandoned the notion of a new student centre.

In response to recent questions with respect to a need for new student space on the St. George Campus, a committee to review student activity space has been established. The committee, which is expected to complete its work and report its findings by the fall of 2005, will examine a wide variety of issues related to student activity space.

Specifically, the terms of reference for the committee include the following:

1. To assess of the current use and allocation of student activity space.

2. To review and make recommendations with respect to the University’s current approach to student activity space on the St. George Campus and, specifically, the extent to which the multi-nodal approach to student activity space continues to serve the needs of students on the campus.

3. To articulate the current needs with respect to the expansion of student activity space and to recommend the means by which the University might address these needs.

4. To articulate the extent to which there is a current need for an additional large node of student activity space on the St. George Campus.

5. To evaluate alternative ways of meeting the needs articulated including, but not limited to:

  • the reallocation of existing space,
  • the conversion of existing space,
  • construction, or
  • acquisition of new space

6. To identify the total project costs (capital cost, furnishings, equipment etc.) associated with each option that is been identified including the annual operating cost.

7. To identify any secondary effects that will occur as a result of the options that are proposed.

8. To develop an outline of a financial plan, consistent with existing policy, to meet any new capital and operating costs associated with any new initiatives recommended by the committee.

Nominations for members of the Committee to Review Student Activity Space on the St. George Campus should be sent to: Jim Delaney, Assistant Director, Student Affairs at jim.delaney@utoronto.ca by Friday, May 6, 2005.