First Year Council secures extended La Piazza and Centro exam hours, as well as significant changes to residence lockout fees

April 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm

The MSU First Year Council has had an impressive year for student advocacy, securing a pilot project for extended dining hours at La Piazza and Centro during exam season, as well as taking steps to reduce “lockout” fees for students living in residence.

Thanks to efforts of student leaders, La Piazza will offer extended hours on April 12 and 13, remaining open until 12AM, and Centro will extend its hours on April 12, remaining open until 2AM, and April 21, remaining open until 1AM. The usage of these extended hours will help determine whether extending hours for the entire exam period will be feasible.

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The First Year Council team anticipates this project benefitting upper year students as well as first year students, especially through the extended hours at La Piazza. “We decided to focus on extending hours for La Piazza due to its central location and variety of food,” says Wallingford Hall Chair, Negar Balouchestani Asli. Through a comprehensive survey on Hospitality Services, the First Year Council collected feedback from first year students and anyone that holds a current meal plan. Hours of operations emerged as a key area of importance, specifically highlighting high demand for extended hours in the McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) dining locations and Centro, followed by East Meets West Bistro and Bridges Café.

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Additionally, the council has achieved success with regards to the fee charged by Housing and Conference Services to students who have locked themselves out of their residence rooms. With research and lobbying support from the University Affairs Committee and AVP University Affairs, FYC has advocated for a lockout procedure that responds to student needs.

“The lockout system has been a huge area of concern for first year students, as it is rather expensive,” Woodstock Chair, Julian Vincent notes. Student feedback has highlighted financial and accessibility concerns associated with the current structure. FYC has proposed granting each student three grace lockouts per semester. After the third lockout, a student would meet with a Community Advisor to discuss solutions to prevent another lockout from occurring. A fine would only be issued if a subsequent lockout occurred, and would be significantly reduced. Housing and Conference Services has committed to putting forward the council’s recommendations to remove standard practice fines, and provide these additional grace periods. “This is a huge deal as students are getting what they need: big changes to university life with tangible outputs!" says Vincent.

This year’s council has also hosted several successful events and have recently been awarded with a Students of Distinction award for their efforts to better the experiences of McMaster students.

Stay up to date with First year Council on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

For more information, please contact:

Hazra Chowdhury
First Year Council Coordinator
fyc@msu.mcmaster.ca

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