At the end of the winter term, on April 30, 2015, the Federation of Students terminated Imprint Publications’ lease, providing no prior notice and no information surrounding the termination. The Feds board has now offered Imprint a relocation at a loss of almost half of our current space.
The sudden nature of our termination was shocking, especially coming from a fellow student organization. We immediately reached out to Feds Vice-President Finance and Operations Carly McCready and General Manager Suzanne Burdett to understand why Feds was moving in this direction, as we have been tenants for over 37 years and rarely encountered conflicts as business partners. Initially, neither McCready nor Burdett could provide any information on the termination despite Burdett, President Chris Lolas, Vice-President Internal Maaz Yasin, and Vice-President Education Stephane Hamade all being members of the board that made the decision.
Over the past two months Feds has provided unclear and infrequent responses. Until their most recent board meeting, they would only provide us with a range of potential options that might be offered to us, including an increase in rent of more than 70 percent, smaller space, or eviction from the SLC. In their justification for the price increase we were also provided with misleading rationale, and an inflated and inaccurate square footage. The little information we have received has been contradictory to information the University of Waterloo could provide.
Feds board has opted to offer Imprint a new location in the SLC, which has almost 50 percent less space than our current offices. The making of a newspaper is a labour-intensive process, with many volunteers working at once to produce our weekly editions. This requires space not just for the hundreds of volunteers that come through our office throughout the year but also for the tools of the industry.
Imprint Publications exists on campus to provide students with the opportunity for experiential learning and involvement in the media industry, while simultaneously providing the campus community with relevant news. These opportunities go hand in hand with our institution’s reputation for and valuation of experiential learning.
Regardless of how this resolves, Imprint Publications will continue to faithfully serve students and hold all relevant organizations accountable to the student body.
If there are any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Imprint Publications Board of Directors.