New Wyckham opens with a bang
Wyckham House, Mount Royal’s independently owned student centre, celebrated the grand opening of a recent $13-million expansion with a big party on March 14.
The night’s celebrations included a reception with about 150 staff, alumni and community members; a speech by Travis McIntosh, president of the Students’ Association; and a sold-out concert by The Trews, an award-winning Canadian rock band.
“We’ve already been able to do some amazing stuff with the space that we did have,” McIntosh said. “Now we’re moving into this new phase where we’ve basically doubled our capacity. I think it represents a widening of our embrace of students.”
After 44 years of operation, Wyckham House’s new renovations represent a new phase for the Students’ Association, coinciding with the transition of Mount Royal from a college to a university.
“As we (become) a university there’s going to be a more diverse student population, and a greater amount of needs for the students,” McIntosh said. “Your personal life, your social life, (and) your views of the world kind of get shaken. I see us being here to offer support for students.”
McIntosh gave much praise for SAMRC staff members Brendan Correia and Josh Boser, the main organizers who coordinated all the food, entertainment, guests and publicity.
Stephanie Stone, the SA’s VP academic from 2002 to 2004, has seen the Association expand since she was in office.
“The new expansion is fabulous. The extra space is so important,” she said, noting the SA has kept to its key mission of serving the student membership.
Organizers hope the new Wyckham House will play a bigger role in the community, particularly by hosting events. In the past, Wyckham has hosted large and small concerts, famous speakers, seminars, Aboriginal round dances, graduation celebrations, political debates and more.
“What does it represent for the people in my constituency? Honestly? Not much,” said Ald. Brian Pincott, whose ward includes Mount Royal.
“I don’t think there’s a great connection with Mount Royal. But what I will take from this is . . . the symbolism of the design is opening a face to the community. While it means nothing to them (my community) now, I think it will mean something to them as they discover Mount Royal College.”