The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) presented a proposal for a student owned-and-operated pub to the university administration on Nov. 16.
UMSU’s full-time office staff developed the proposal under the direction of the UMSU executives.
UMSU president Heather Laube explained that the students’ union is interested in making the former Wise Guys space as multi-purpose as possible, in order to meets the various needs of the student body.
Laube explained that the objectives of the new pub are to provide space for local and student bands to perform, and serve as a venue for cultural events happening and hosted in the city.
Laube stated that everything is still tentative until the plan is approved by the university’s administration.
The proposal was presented to Debbie McCallum, vice-president (administration), and other administrative members of the university.
Laube felt that the proposal was well received by the university. She said UMSU and the university are currently in discussions to clarifying some of the details of the presented proposal.
“We don’t expect to receive a formal yes or no to our bid for a few weeks, [but] I am generally feeling positive about our chances,” commented Laube.
If the bid does receive approval from the university’s administration, UMSU’s next step will be to go into the design phase of the project. This involves developing an architectural plan for the space and determining exact financial costs of the project.
Laube said she would love to have student involvement in this project in the future, but said that at this time the nature of the project makes student involvement difficult to incorporate.
Laube hopes to include some students-at-large more formally in the planning process down the road, and said that student involvement was going to be a big priority when it came to pub operations if UMSU was successful in getting the space.
“Students will have the opportunity to influence the operations of the pub both through UMSU itself and an as of yet unnamed committee in charge of handling student-pub relations,” said Laube.
UMSU has a letter of support for the pub that is available at the UMSU offices, and Laube encouraged students to come and sign it to show their support for a student owned-and-operated pub.
Alan Simms, associate vice-president (administration), said that the university is currently reviewing the proposal.
“We are impressed with the proposal and will continue to discuss it with them,” said Simms.
Heather Pelser, a student in the faculty of arts, said that she didn’t feel that Wise Guys had offered a real pub-like atmosphere.
Pelser said she would like to see the new pub feel more like a student pub. She felt it was important that “a lot of effort and time went into [the student pub project] to make sure that policies are followed throughout, so that the same thing doesn’t happen to the new pub that happened to Wise Guys.”