two years, the Rink in the Bowl was available for no charge to students wanting
to stay active during winter on campus. However, the rink has been closed
permanently this year.
concerns around useful spending, the University of Saskatchewan Students’
Union has decided to allocate the money for the rink to fund other forms of
winter programming. The union hopes this will better address the interests of
the student body.
was kind of a gamble with the money, and the hopes that students would use the
ice rink and our hopes that it would be warm enough that they would feel
compelled to use it,” said Autumn LaRose-Smith, vice-president student affairs
of the USSU.
Rink in the Bowl was a campaign promise of Crystal Lau, former vice-president
of student affairs. For Lau, the rink was an opportunity to promote a sense of
community on campus and to ensure that students living in residence could
engage in winter activities.
Lau’s intentions, the USSU has decided to close the rink. They say that this
change will allow the student union to better devote resources to activities
that interest the student body.
definitely not wanting to give up, but just being realistic [with] the timing
and availability of the students,” LaRose- Smith said.
2017-18 academic year, the U of S President’s Office provided the USSU with
upwards of $10,000 to manage the rink. This funding covered a majority of the
set-up costs. The funds that the USSU was spending on the rink’s maintenance
will now be allocated to other forms of winter programming. Nothing has been
determined yet for this year and the programming for future years is yet to be
possible future plans, the students’ union is considering hosting a skating
event at Merlis Belsher Place where hot chocolate and pizza will be provided
to students. They are also interested in hosting a feast at the end of the
Aside from that, the USSU’s
future winter programming will be determined by direct student feedback. The
executive is encouraging students and student groups to approach them with
their ideas and interests on the topic.
LaRose-Smith is excited about
what the USSU’s winter programming may become and hopes that it will bring the
“I’m really open to different
ideas of what students want to do,” LaRose-Smith said.
Ultimately, winter programming
will become what students make of it. LaRose-Smith says the executive
appreciates the importance of having outdoor activities available for students
during the winter months. They are hoping that students will get the same
benefits that were intended with the Rink in the Bowl from the union’s upcoming
“I think it can be really positive for students
who are struggling right now, from stress and other things, [to know] that
there are things available to them,” LaRose-Smith said.