Lakehead students vote yes for new athletics facility

By Brandy Bond, Staff Writer

Between March 21st and March 28th, nearly 2,500 students casted their vote in the new athletic facility referendum. The results are in: nearly 80 per cent voted in favour of raising student fees to help fund the new building. Given the voter turn out and the majority vote in favor of the building, there is a clearly strong support for the 30,000 square-facility.

The proposed project for the facility had emerged from multiple student ideas, student focus groups, as well as student needs. The brand-new building would be connected to the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse and Lakehead Athletics Hangar. The plans that are currently in place provide students with a multi-purpose gymnasium, modern weightlifting space, student study areas, a market, as well as an on-campus pharmacy. According to CBC, Tyler McDougal, the lead student campaigner for this facility stated that “It’s so much more than just an athletics facility, it’s going to be kind of like a student-drive, positive space.”

Over the next couple of weeks Lakehead’s Student Union plans to meet to sanction the vote. During this period, students are able to come forward with any possible complaints in regard to the athletics facility. If the vote for the new facility ends up being approved by LUSU, all students will be required to pay an additional 49.50 per semester.

With the vote in favor of the gym, many of the students have become increasingly more excited of the idea of a new facility. However, there are also many other students who are quite unhappy with the results. For many students, the price of tuition is already high enough and adding to that cost doesn’t seem fair to them. When asking a Lakehead student why she didn’t vote she stated that she felt that, “there was little information on what they planned on doing. All the information just came at me all at once and I didn’t think it was fair that I had to make a decision so quickly without being able to ask questions.”

Many students who were against the new building attempted to deter students from the yes vote on multiple social media platforms. However, , despite their efforts, many of our student body still voted yes as they believe that the new facility could  be a great contribution to the Lakehead community. Soon the final decision will be in and whether it will be passed or not is unknown. But should the vote be confirmed, as Farhan Yousaf, vice president of operations and finance, stated to CBC news, that LUSU plans to ensure that student voices are heard and that  the construction of the building follow its proposed design as “that was promised and we want to make sure that promise is upheld.”