The University Observer has learned that the university plans to overhaul the lower ground floor area of the Arts Block and to move societies such as FilmSoc and The College Tribune out of their offices.
It is the understanding of The University Observer that The College Tribune’s board members are to meet in the upcoming weeks to discuss the matter of how accepting an office in the new Student Centre could be seen as a contradiction to their editorial independence.
FilmSoc Auditor, Jake Murray, told The University Observer that the society have been asked to leave their office after ten years in the LG area of the Arts Block. He said: “The entire space, including the old DramSoc Theatre, is being converted into academic storage.”
Murray said that despite the plans, there has been uncertainty as to what space will be allocated for their society. “We’ve definitely been promised a room, but we’ve gotten conflicting reports between the people that planned the Student Centre, and the Chair of the Societies Council as to where we’re going to be. All we know is that we’re getting a room.”
He said that it is his understanding that the university hopes to have every society based out in the new Student Centre. They have yet to receive details as to when the offices must be vacated with Murray commenting: “I presume it will be either during the summer or at the start of the next semester.”
Regardless of when they are required to relocate, Murray didn’t feel that there was a need for concern explaining: “We’re in a unique position because we’ve got a lot of equipment that needs to be stored, and also editing facilities; pretty sizeable computer equipment down in the office as well. So if the Student Centre isn’t ready, we’ll have to stay put or they’ll have to provide us with some other appropriate space to keep everything.”
The editor of The College Tribune, Colman Hanley, declined to comment when questioned.
The new Student Centre began construction in early 2009 and, when completed, will include facilities such as a 50-metre Olympic-sized swimming pool, debating chamber, student media centre, drama theatre and cinema.