UBC Graduate Research

What Makes A Student-Driven Project?: A Study Of The AMS New Sub Project, 2007-2010 Jarvis, Bronwyn


In spring of 2007 the Alma Mater Society (AMS) of the University of British Columbia (UBC) began the process to develop a new Student Union Building (SUB). A cornerstone of this New SUB project was that it was envisioned as a ‘student-driven’ process, and it fell to the AMS to develop a system of governance and consultation that would meet this goal. By the summer of 2010, the preliminary assessment, programming, and negotiations for the project had finished, but the process developed to date had not been formally recorded, or assessed. The purpose of this paper is to: document the first three years of the process, from spring of 2007 to summer of 2010; assess how the process has been ‘student-driven’ and ‘not student-driven’; give specific recommendations for how the project could be improved, and for how a similar project could improve on the New SUB project; and develop principles for how to achieve a student-driven project. In my documentation and analysis I drew from: my field notes from working on the New SUB project from the fall of 2008 to the summer of 2010; publicly available documents related to the project and similar Student Union Building development projects in North America; and interviews with key project members.

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