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Bellingham
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

AS board meeting

By Julia Berkman

A new residence hall, a Buchanan Towers renovation and more Real Food are in the works, according to the Associated Students Board meeting on April 6.

The meeting began with a presentation by Leonard Jones, director of University Residences, and Kurt Willis, associate director of Housing.

Jones and Willis presented on the university housing and dining rates. According to the proposed Operating Budget, the housing and dining rates have steadily increased every year. The budget shows that the 4.5 percent increase is in line with the increases made within the past five years.

With new luxury student housing popping up, Jones and Willis are focusing on how to draw students back in.

In order to attract students to live on campus, Willis and Jones have two goals. For the immediate future, a renovation of BT will add hotel-style keycard access to the building and rooms. In the next few years, Jones and Willis are helping plan out a new residence hall.

“We’ve seen that it usually costs more to renovate an old dorm than to just tear it down and build a new one,” Willis said.

A forum on the new dorm construction is scheduled for May 8. Students are encouraged to attend.

According to Willis and Jones, Western’s contract with Aramark will be up for renewal in two and half years. With Aramark, they’re trying to reach a goal of of 25 percent Real Food by 2020.

Real Food is healthy food produced in a way that doesn’t put a strain on the environment, those who harvest it or the animals who supply the product.

Right now, Western is hovering around 19 percent Real Food.

The motion to approve the new fees and plans passed 5-1, with AS Vice President for Diversity Erick Yanzon abstaining.

 

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