In 2000, the Michael K. Hooker Higher Education Facilities Financing Act allotted funds to the University for renovation of facilities. According to Bolin, buildings such as the Union were included in the bond, but the Campus Y was not.
“Why? I do not know,” Bolin said. “Your guess is as good as mine, but our building was in really bad conditions in the 2000s. Parts of it were condemned and when Campus Y staff went to the University and said ‘What are we going to do because we didn’t get access to money from this bond?’ They said you have to do your own independent fundraising. And so, we did.”
Funds raised through private donations and alumni bought in around $700,000 to honor Anne Queen, a former director of the Campus Y, Bolin said. The Campus Y lounge was named in her honor.
However, Bolin said the University contractor went over budget in renovating the building.
“And so basically that’s when we came into an agreement with the University, they finally helped with some of the payment,” Bolin said. “And so that is why the Blue Ram Café is in the Y, that is why these two classrooms are academic classrooms from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the weekdays, and that is also why the Anne Queen Lounge is a faculty space.”
In the allocation of funds, jurisdiction over the space was given to Faculty Governance, said Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis.
“In the process of allocating the money to renovate the building, the Board of Trustees made it a condition of the money they allocated that the renovated building have a common area or lounge for faculty use when the building reopened,” Steponaitis said.
Steponaitis said Campus Y administration decided to take down the art, which prompted a renovation of the faculty space.
“We’ve replaced the exterior doors that were rotting, so we’re slowly working on the room,” Steponaitis said. “And I think some time, I think it might’ve been last summer, we just asked about that painting. We didn’t know whose it was. Was it ours? Is it the Campus Y’s? And that was the only that was left behind. The Campus Y said it’s their painting and we said, 'Well you know, let’s start with a clean slate.' They removed it and that’s how the decision was made.”
Bolin said Faculty Governance removed the Realidad Nortena without notifying Campus Y student leadership.
“We were not given a clear explanation as to why the painting was removed. It was just removed and then we had to find a new home for it,” Bolin said. “It was even difficult for us before the Union said we’ll give it a home temporarily, of just finding a space to store it that wasn’t in the AQL just because the ceilings are short.”
Bolin cited recent issues over autonomy of the Campus Y's space. For example, Faculty Governance installed a key card to access the lounge and did not notify student leadership. Many Campus Y groups use the space after faculty hours for meetings.
“The key card was broken for a little while and so you could not unlock the building so when we would have meetings in there, we could not access the lounge which is really frustrating just because it’s the only room in the building that can really hold more than 20 people,” Bolin said. “We have a 70-person cabinet and so that is the only room in the building that can fit everyone.”
For Bolin, these sorts of issues had raised questions about the relationship between the Campus Y facilities and the Office of Faculty Governance.
“I think what’s been a question that we have sort of run into is there seems to be a lack of clear guidelines over when things are removed, or when they stay, and sort of when things are removed, why are they removed?” Bolin said. “Is it because the faculty prefer bare walls? Is it because they don’t like the messaging that the paintings in building were promoting? Is it because there are other paintings that they would like in the space? Things like that.”