MUN budget doesn’t deserve cuts
She also expressed some skepticism about the university’s purchase and renovation of the Battery Hotel.
“MUNFA has always wondered about the logic of doing that,” she said.
The Battery was bought and renovated for roughly $25 million with the help of federal money. It is still undergoing work. One of its objectives is to generate revenue for the university from the rents charged to the graduate students housed there and the moneys collected from outside groups that are expected to host conferences and other functions. It will create space and eliminate costly leasing arrangements with landlords.
Sorensen: “We’ve got several units, pharmacy being one who rent space off-campus now, so we’re actually paying landlords about a million-dollars-a-year in rental space, just to house our people off-campus.”
It will also be home to innovation centres ranging from the social to the technological and the university hopes the public will express a deep interest in the work of their researchers and students. It should be fully open next spring. The university expects the facility to pay for itself. Only time will tell.
Gerry Byrne should never have slashed funding to Memorial, and Memorial should be more conscientious as to the way it handles public money. Cutting out pricey meals in upscale restaurants and other foolishness is one solution and closing the Harlow campus in England is probably another.
Too many young people are graduating today with multithousand dollar loans. The money MUN spends on many of its frills could be used for grant money-to help those struggling to pay expenses from the social welfare cheques of family members.
It will be scandalous if Byrne’s budget cuts reduces the calibre of our university graduates. It will be equally scandalous if Memorial loses sight of its real purpose — to provide our young people with the quality teaching and research opportunities so they can take their place with the best of them.