How to fund the Students’ Union Drinking Spot?

File photo. Brandon University’s Students’ Union Drinking Spot (SUDS) in the Knowles-Douglas Building. (Holly Kalyniuk / The Quill)

The SUDS Board is looking for opportunities to raise additional capital, including the possibility of a student levy.

Board Chair Suz Duff states there have been discussions on how to complete much-needed upgrades to the kitchen. “Essentially, the current kitchen we have right now is only running because [it is] expect[ed] that we will be doing upgrades,” explains Duff. “We’re not using some of the proper kitchen appliances [that should be found] in an industrial kitchen. So people wanted to talk about ways in which we could start putting money towards these upgrades, so we can actually make SUDS a fully-functioning restaurant.”

In light of this, one idea brought forward was to implement a levy for each student, much like the KDC (Knowles-Douglas Building) levy. “It would go toward doing those kitchen upgrades,” says Duff, “and that would be maybe a five dollar levy that would end up to be something like fifteen thousand dollars. It would be a substantial amount over a period of time.”

The original idea came forth from current BUSU President Carissa Taylor. As she is currently running for re-election, election by-laws prohibit her from speaking to The Quill on this issue at this time.

Duff notes most board members were supportive of finding additional funds, but uncertain about introducing a new fee to students. “Personally, I really think it would be beneficial to SUDS, but at the same time I don’t necessarily support tacking on more costs associated with a student’s tuition. I think it would be better if we could find it from some other area. Whether it’s in the BUSU budget, or we have a fundraiser each year […] or some other alternative to the levy.”

She says SUDS has been doing well over the past two years, and the board is eager to see that trend continue. “It’s actually looking hopeful that we will break even or even make some money this year,” she says, adding that Bar Supervisor Karla Voth and the staff have done a great job, which has made a big difference.

The possibility of a levy was on the agenda for the BUSU Semi-annual General Meeting, which was scheduled to be held last Wednesday. Unfortunately, quorum (50 students) was not achieved and the meeting could not take place.

“I don’t think the intention around the conversation was to actually implement [the levy], it was more to see if student support was there,” says Duff. They were hoping to “see how much [students] care about SUDS, [and] how much they’re willing to put in to make sure that SUDS is something that keeps running.”

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 103, Issue 24, March 12, 2013.

Share this article!