February 2, 2022 — Councillors discuss special meeting to re-open SUB early

The motion took two hours and did not pass

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outdoor shot of the new SFU stadium
PHOTO: Krystal Chan / The Peak

By: Karissa Ketter, News Writer

The Council discusses special meeting to re-open SUB early

Mathematics councillor Ben Tischler submitted a motion to hold a special meeting on February 9, 2022 to discuss re-opening the Student Union Building (SUB) early. 

Tischler reported he found through a Mathematics student survey only 20.96% of members were in favour of closing the SUB whereas 70.04% were against the closure. 

“Closing the SUB completely is not the answer, by doing that we limit the availability of space on campus which can lead to more crowding and, of course, with crowding, more COVID-19 transmission,” said Tischler.

Sociology and Anthropology (SASU) student representative Kayla Chow reported that SASU held a survey where they found that most students agree with re-opening the SUB “to reduce congestion on campus.”

The original closure of the SUB was scheduled to take place until February 18, 2022. Tischler’s motion also included pushing the SUB’s re-opening date to February 14. 

Matthew Provost, vice-president external and community affairs, said the SUB building staff and SFSS executive committee is already prepared to open the SUB by the originally proposed date. 

Vivian Ly, SFU Disability and Neurodivergent Alliance executive member, was not in support of having a special meeting to speed up the SUB reopening. “You don’t need a whole other meeting for the SUB to be open, literally just four days earlier. Council would be wasting time having a meeting,” said Ly. 

“The SUB being opened or closed is not going to make hallways less busy between classes, which is when they are most busy — that is an SFU issue — it’s not going to make lineups any shorter for food,” said Women’s Centre representative Nim Basra. “What it will do is put the SFSS staff at risk and create unsafe conditions for many students because there will be people who refuse to wear masks and social distance.”

Former SFSS president and councillor Gabe Liosis said, “I do not believe that it’s wise to call a meeting next week to consider a motion to open the SUB early [ . . . ] There’s a reason why the timeline was established for February 18, and why that timeline has been given in advance: that’s so that our staff can prepare the communications to go to membership, saying that the building is open.”

After a debate that stretched for over two hours, the final motion to hold a special meeting was not carried. The SUB is still currently scheduled to be opened on February 18, 2022. The vote was rejected with 16 votes in favour, 19 votes against, and 2 abstentions. 

For updates on the SUB re-opening, visit the SFSS website.