Mount Royal’s most newsworthy
The biggest news stories of 2012
Now that the year 2012 is over, it’s time to look back at the past year and remember MRU’s biggest events and most newsworthy mentions. Here are a few of last year’s most memorable moments.
Jason Kenney visits MRU for meet-and-greet
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney came to Mount Royal University for a meet-and-greet on Jan. 25. Kenney gave a half-hour speech followed by a question and answer period to the university’s Conservative Party Campus Affiliations. The group asked him to speak at the campus due to recent work banning facial coverings during citizenship ceremonies.
Former SAMRU President robs bank
On the afternoon of Feb. 29, a month after she resigned as president of the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University, Meghan Melnyk entered a Servus Credit Union in southeast Calgary and passed the teller a note saying she was armed and demanding cash. Melnyk then took off in a PT Cruiser with her German shepherd dog, $6,180, a dye pack and bait bills. The police stopped her soon after and found the cash and a butterfly knife. Melnyk was released on bail, and on Aug. 1 pleaded guilty to charges of bank robbery. She also pled guilty in charges of fraud under $5,000 and a breach of probation. Melnyk is set to be sentenced on April 18, 2013.
The events occurred weeks after Melnyk unexpectedly resigned from her position as SAMRU president, with remaining officials keeping information quiet from students. In an email statement, Melnyk wrote: “I am moving on to other opportunities and wish my colleagues the best of luck.” On Jan. 31, SAMRU released a statement that explained Melnyk had stepped down following the first of two periodic reviews conducted by Student Council.
Full service Timmies opens at MRU
Probably the most anticipated event to happen at Mount Royal University in 2012, the new full service Tim Hortons opened on campus on March 19, while the old coffee-only Tim Hortons has remained closed beside it. Although the half-million dollar project took a long time to unveil, students can now grab iced capps and bagels between classes, assuming the line-ups aren’t too long. The question now remains to be answered — what will go in place of the old Tim Hortons?
Due to legal issues, the unveiling of the new Timmies took longer than expected. Construction was supposed to begin in Summer 2011 but due to legalities, it was pushed back. Then the contract as awarded Nov. 1 with an estimated completion date being the winter semester, but that date was pushed back as well. Finally, in March, the grand opening of the new full-service Tim Hortons was unveiled.
MRU instates credit card fees for tuition payments
Following the news of Mount Royal University’s new credit card payment fees of 1.79 per cent (Mastercard) and 1.89 per cent (Visa), students opted to pay their fees by debit at the Registrar’s Office, resulting in lines that extended all the way to the bookstore. The credit card fee would result in a roughly $57 increase for a local student’s five-course semester. Due to this fee increase, MRU made headlines when one student, second-year geology major Devin DeFraine, decided to make a stand and pay his tuition in coins. DeFraine, who came to the university wheeling 230 lbs worth of coin, said, “If they’re gonna nickel and dime us, I’m gonna nickel and dime them.”
Justin Trudeau visits Wyckham House
Liberal leader candidate Justin Trudeau came to MRU on Nov. 20 to campaign for votes during the by-election. Trudeau’s visit came just days before news resurfaced about some anti-Albertan comments he made during an interview two years ago where he stated, “it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda.”
West LRT line opens for business
After nearly 10 years of waiting, Calgary’s West LRT line opened to the public on Dec. 10 with only minor technical difficulties, including problems with ticket printing and difficulties with connecting bus routes. The line is the first major infrastructure project opened in Calgary in 25 years, costing roughly $1.4 billion. The line includes six new stations, which include the first elevated and underground platforms in Calgary.
The transit changes mean good news for MRU transit goers, with more buses expected to come to West Gate. BRT routes (Bus Rapid Transit) will travel between the new route 306 — Westbrook/Heritage station — and Mount Royal’s new transit hub.