University of Calgary students' union loses control of Mac Hall

A judge has rejected the University of Calgary students' union's bid for an injunction over control of MacEwan Hall.

Union president says lawsuit against university will proceed

One of the big issues in the dispute was revenue from concerts and commercial tenants as well as how Mac Hall is operated. (Google Earth)

A judge has rejected the University of Calgary students' union's bid for an injunction over control of MacEwan Hall.

The students' union managed Mac Hall for more than 40 years, but the university has terminated that agreement.

The decision means the U of C will now run the building and get the revenues from the food court.

Meanwhile, the students' union says it never surrendered its ownership rights over Mac Hall.

The group's president, Stephan Guscott, says they're disappointed with the judge's ruling on the injunction.

"The students union will lose about $1.9 million in annual revenue from the food court tenants. That'll be collected by the university. So it's about 10 per cent of our operating budget," said Guscott.

He expects the university will take control of the building in about a week.

However, Guscott says a lawsuit against the university on the issue will proceed.

In a statement on its website, the university said it respects the decision of the court and that the campus community can expect Mac Hall will deliver the same services, programs and activities.

The release also said it is only assuming management of the building and not the student union businesses and programs.

"The businesses that the SU owns and operates in Mac Hall, which represent approximately 85 per cent of the SU's operating revenue, will continue to be run by the SU and they will continue to collect the revenues generated by them without having to pay any rent to the university."

The university said it will ony collect rent from third-party commercial tenants.

Legal action against the university by the students' union began in 2015. The SU claimed it was co-owner of Mac Hall and in November 2015 applied for an injunction to stop the institution from taking over management of Mac Hall. The Occupation, Operation and Management Agreement expired Dec. 3, 2015 at which time the university and SU entered into mediation to resolve the issue. 

The university says it is disappointed that the lawsuit will proceed.