Student Council: building work, gym time, and accommodation

The second Student Council meeting of this academic year was held on Thursday, November 12th. Plans were unveiled at the meeting for the sports centre extension and the old Lincolnshire Echo building, which is soon to house the Faculty of Business and Law; accommodation problems; and a request from sports students for free gym time.

The meeting looked well attended, with 42 people turning up. However, only half of that number were actual students or student reps, with the rest either university or SU staff, or members of the SU’s “executive team”.

Sports centre and Business and Law Faculty building

stem Architects, who are responsible for designing many of the University of Lincoln’s buildings, showed their designs for the expanded sports centre, and old Lincolnshire Echo building, both of which are currently being worked on.

At the sports centre, the plan is to “extend the existing Human Performance Centre” and “relocate the office that supports [it]” into the main building itself, rather than being in “Witham House”, a temporary structure.

The idea is to “give the [building] a new identity… a stronger identity.” This will be done by “[creating] a new, visible entrance” into a “much more inviting atrium”.

Over at the Business and Law building, the old newsroom will be turned into academic offices, while an atrium will be built at the front of the press hall, and a 250-seat lecture theatre will be built at the back. There will also be a moot court built on the first floor, to allow the Law faculty to hold mock trials.

Because of the position of the building, it is hoped to provide some “east-west connectivity” between the university and the High Street. Both projects are hoped to be completed and in use by September 2010.

Sports students’ access to the gym

Daniel Muckle, a second-year sports development and coaching student, came to the Council asking for sports students to be given some free access to the gym.

He said that a few hours a week would be enough, and that it was the same as any other course that needs specialist equipment and facilities to train and practise.

“Obviously during the summer it’s not a problem, you can go on runs. But in the winter [it’s dark] and the weather’s atrocious,” Muckle said.

Chris Charnley, the SU’s president, said “the union started [discussions with the sports centre] over the summer”, and that the situation would be reviewed in January. This may perhaps be too late, but Robin Wright, the university’s director of sport, was at the meeting, so hopefully some progress will be made before then.

University Courts accommodation

The Council also heard from Huseyin Kishi, a first-year journalism student, who complained about problems some students had been facing in the university’s Courts accommodation. He said: “[Students] want more transparency on where [their] rents are going.”

One student at the meeting said: “My girlfriend’s been without hot water for three days.”

Jonathan Holmes, another first-year journalist, said “I feel we were misrepresented,” and that the Courts were “not [up to the standard] we were shown on the open day”.

Professor Mike Saks, a senior pro vice-chancellor at the university, said that he would look into the matter, much as said he would with the Riseholme bus service. Updating the Council on that matter, Saks said that the Estates department “are looking very closely” at the situation.

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