College recognizes Students’ Association donation with allocation of Train Station for SA use

Date Posted: April 7, 2016

Tuesday, April 5 was a special day for the Students’ Association of Red Deer College and the College itself.

It was a day celebrating the Students’ Association’s $500,000 donation to the Shaping our Future campaign and announcing the College’s recognition of that donation.

As was announced last month at the construction launch of the Gary W. Harris Centre for Health, Wellness & Sport, the Students’ Association has committed $500,000 to the project. In recognition of this donation, the College has allocated the current Train Station which will be repurposed for use as a gathering and meeting area for the Association and its clubs and societies.

“The Students’ Association has a shared priority in promoting opportunities for our learners throughout their time here at RDC. We are thrilled to see this level of commitment that demonstrates just how important the Harris Centre will be for our learners,” said RDC President Joel Ward.

The Centre will provide opportunities for enhanced learning and program expansion, particularly in RDC’s School of Health Sciences. Along with the many benefits for students, community members will have greater access to health and wellness activities when the Centre opens in the fall of 2018.

Planning for the future

Students’ Association President Maryanne McGrath spoke on behalf of the students of Red Deer College. She explained to those gathered in the Far Side Bar & Grill for the celebration the significance of both the donation and the College’s recognition of the donation.

“Today is a very exciting day in the Students’ Association’s 50 year history. We are celebrating two things: the students’ commitment and contribution to the College’s future, as well as the College’s appreciation for our donation.”

For the past 15 years, students have been investing a portion of their fees in the Building Trust Fund. This trust fund was established decades ago, as a savings account for future growth and the expansion of our services.

The last time the Students’ Association accessed the building trust fund was in 2000, explained McGrath, when the Association expanded the Far Side and renovated its current offices and service areas. On March 1, the student body supported a motion to access this fund again.

“I am proud to reaffirm our commitment to allocate five hundred thousand dollars from the Building Trust Fund to Red Deer College’s ‘Shaping our Future’ campaign,” said McGrath. “By investing in our own futures, students are guaranteeing that those who follow in our footsteps will have every opportunity to succeed at Red Deer College.”

Students hope to further the vision of what is to come for Red Deer College,  said McGrath, through the Shaping our Future campaign, the bid to become a Polytechnic University, and hosting the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

“As RDC President Joel Ward often comments, ‘The Centre for Health, Wellness and Sport is a symbol of the dreams of Central Albertans.’ I would also add that the construction of this building, and our historic donation is the manifestation of the dreams of students at Red Deer College,” said McGrath.

“Student leaders carry the duty of honouring the decisions of past students, an obligation to build on those decisions in the present, and the responsibility of anticipating the needs of future students.

“We have the students of past years to thank for paving the way to this moment. It was the effort of past Students’ Association leaders and members that has positioned our organization as it is today; in a position to further enrich the lives of our students.

“I am honored and excited to announce a commitment to our students by Red Deer College that is forward thinking and groundbreaking. The College, in appreciation for our donation, is allocating and repurposing the Train Station for Students’ Association use.”

Through this allocation and repurposing, the Students’ Association will be able to provide enhanced services to the student body, including designated meeting space for our student groups to come together and collaborate with one another.

The Students’ Association of Red Deer College will be the first organization of its kind in the province to provide this level of service to its students, said McGrath.

“And for that, we are most grateful to Red Deer College and its leadership team. We appreciate the accessibility, open communication, and trust between the students and the institution. This allocation of space exemplifies the great working relationship, which ultimately is for the betterment of students. We can accomplish great things through the spirit of collaboration and mutual respect.

“We thank you for standing with students as we shape our future together.”

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