Students at UBC’s Okanagan campus have voted to partner with their university to create a major new space on campus for study, collaboration and services to meet their needs.
In a referendum this week, 85 per cent of voting students said yes to a project that will add 45,000 square feet of dynamic, technologically enhanced learning space, more than doubling the size of the existing library. Students approved a $70 annual student levy to fund one-third of a project valued at up to $30 million, depending on final configuration of the new space.
“We are tremendously grateful to our students for their vision and commitment, and we’re excited about proceeding on this project in partnership with students,” says Deborah Buszard, UBC deputy vice-chancellor and principal of the Okanagan campus.
“Our learning centre — the library — is essential to every student’s academic success and an important part of their university experience,” Buszard says. “Student participation in the design and funding of this remarkable project is key to building the library of tomorrow with more space, more technology and more of the services students have told us they need.”
Funding from students will effectively be tripled by other funding sources which can now be pursued with a strong mandate to proceed, says Buszard.
“We are committed to seeking other sources of funding, and by contributing financially our students are sending a powerful signal to potential donors and other contributors that more learning space is needed.”
Expansion of the existing 650-seat library will have a tremendous impact on the student experience, says Rocky Kim, president of the UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO), which held the referendum.
“The financial contribution of the students towards the library reaffirms the UBCSUO’s position that this is in fact a necessity,” says Kim. “It is my hope that our contribution will trigger additional sources of funding to follow in our example and join us in building UBC Okanagan for the better.”
Information about the learning centre/library expansion is online at morelibrary.ok.ubc.ca
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