An Update on KPU’s Student Union Building

KSA members are discussing the beginning of design and construction

David Piraquive, President of the Kwantlen Student Association. (file)

Though there has been talk about a student union building being built at KPU for years, the first steps towards building it are taking place now, according to the Kwantlen Student Association.

KSA President David Piraquive says that creating the plan to build the SUB has been a long process, and the actual construction of the building is still in the distant future.

Part of the reason for the delayed progress of the SUB project, is that it needs to fit into KPU’s introduction of its long term “Campus Master Plan.”

The Master Plan is intended to create a “vision for the physical development and growth of the Surrey, KPU Tech, Richmond and Langley campuses to the year 2050,” as written on KPU’s website.

To meet this end, KPU intends to host “idea brainstorming workshops” to allow students to have a say in how the university should evolve in the coming decades. The plan is also having an effect on the completion of some of the KSA’s projects like the SUB.

“It kind of paused everything for the student union building while Kwantlen does their master plan,” says Piraquive.

This is because the student association is taking the time to see exactly what students want more of on campus. They want assurance that constructing a student union building is considered worthwhile by the people who would use it the most, though all of the funding for the SUB has already been put forward by the KSA.

“They’ve done consultation with students … where they ask them what things they’d like to see on campus,” says Piraquive. “Some of the things I remember seeing is better food on campus, student housing, better places to hang out.”

This consultation came in the form of a survey sent to students electronically. You may have gotten the email from KPU encouraging students to participate — with Tim Hortons prizes to offer incentive to complete the surveys.

The KSA had a meeting with the developers of the SUB on Thursday, Nov. 21 to discuss further details.

“Pretty much the majority of universities shape their own student union building,” says Piraquive, mentioning UBC’s student union building, dubbed “The Nest” as a “gorgeous” example of what a SUB can look like.

Though KPU’s eventual student union building might not be a sought-after wedding destination like The Nest, Piraquive says it would be nice to have a hang-out spot on campus, and a space for clubs and student groups to call their own.