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LSU seeks student opinions on new campus services

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Reported by Alyse Kotyk

New services — ranging from a student advocacy group to a campus radio station — may be coming to Langara College, depending on a survey being administered by the Langara Students’ Union.

This process is part of the LSU’s Democracy Project, which includes a survey gauging students’ interest in 21 potential services. LSU general manager Desmond Rodenbour said the project emerged from students’ hopes of what the student union could be doing for the school.

Desmond Rodenbour, LSU general manager, looks at the Democracy Project referendum template in his office. Photo: Alyse Kotyk.
Desmond Rodenbour, LSU general manager, looks at the Democracy Project referendum template in his office. Photo: Alyse Kotyk.

“What do you think of your student union? What has it done for you lately?” Rodenbour said he had asked students around campus. “I took a lot of notes, and from that comes the Democracy Project.”

Rodenbour compiled the responses from those he talked to into a survey that allows students to indicate what services they want to have established, with the top 10 being brought to a campus-wide referendum in February. The referendum will include a breakdown of how much each service would cost, and if any receive 51 per cent student approval, they will be implemented.

Students give their take on possible services

Langara College design student Pablo Corry said he would be interested in having more study space, a games room or a radio station on campus as long as it was easy to access.

“That’d be cool, I’d just want to know where I could listen to it,” he said about the potential radio station. “Maybe a podcast, or something on the computer.”

Rodenbour suggested that some services, like a student advocacy office, might not receive as many votes, but would still be valuable for students.

Other post-secondary institutions, including UBC, have found that an advocacy office is helpful for supporting students in conflicts with the university.

“As a student, sometimes you get intimidated,” said UBC’s advocacy coordinator, Letitia Chu. “Having that support is really helpful [knowing] that someone is there for you.”

Rodenbour said these services have the potential to be long lasting and hopes that students will be proud of their contributions.

“That was my question to students and to elected officials,” he said. “What if you came back 25 years later? What service would you have been involved in starting? Would you be proud to say ‘hey, I helped start that’?”

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