New Student Union Building unsafe for students

This post originally appeared on the Syrup Trap

VANCOUVER (The News Desk) — Stairways to nowhere. Bare concrete floors. Cranes swinging heavy metal I-beams through the air. Standing in UBC’s newly constructed Student Union Building (SUB), it is easy to understand why some students say it does not meet their expectations for a new home.

“This is ridiculous,” said third-year student representative Julia Hynes. “How much did we pay for this building? I don’t even feel safe here.”

On our tour of the new building, we had to cross several blue temporary fences, duck under ribbons of caution tape and dodge heavy equipment just to stand in the foyer. Unsurprisingly, the building was empty: with so many obstacles in the way, students are likely too afraid to even venture into the new SUB.

“I don’t think that building is ready,” cautioned a young exchange student as we crossed the first fence. Comments like that were common, demonstrating how little has been done by the administration to welcome students into what was supposed to be a state-of-the-art facility, but is in fact a shambles. Construction workers have refused to leave, and tools remain strewn about the dusty floors.

University spokespeople declined to comment, calling the story “ridiculous.” But for students, what’s ridiculous is that there is not a single vending machine or water fountain in the new building; in fact, even the toilets don’t flush, as we discovered too late.

Renovations on the new SUB are already underway. As of press time, construction crews are retrofitting the poorly planned boondoggle with windows and lighting. Hopefully, as word gets out about the new building, the administration will see to it that it is finally brought up to standard. ♦

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