Renovate Burnside Basement

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Help a group of entrepreneurial students in the Faculty of Science and Interfaculty of Arts & Science transform their dark and dreary Burnside Basement into a welcoming all-access space for students to study, relax, exchange ideas, and obtain essential resources.

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  • Improve the Burnside Basement space on campus and provide students with an all-access pass to a space conducive to learning and collaborating.
  • Having this nucleus near essential services provided by the Science Undergraduate Society and SUS Computer Task Force will help in forging an identity for Science and Arts & Science students.
  • Upgrade the space to make it more environmentally friendly and efficient, thus reducing the carbon footprint of an old building on campus.

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For students, having a comfortable place to go and unwind, study, or simply interact with peers can have a huge impact on the quality of daily life and mental health. Now imagine if one of the most common venues for those activities had reason to be nicknamed “The Dungeon”. Doesn’t really sound inviting, does it?

The study space in Burnside Basement is currently limited to a handful of built-in desks and dated sofas purchased back in 2001. Coupled with dim lighting and dark, brick walls, it’s not hard to imagine how the Dungeon moniker came to be. In addition to the student space, Burnside Basement also houses many student government offices and services available to students, including the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS), Neuroscience Undergraduates of McGill (NUM), Society of Undergraduate Mathematics Students (SUMS), and many more. The presence of these facilities on site means the Burnside building itself is frequented by large numbers of students on a daily basis.

That’s why a team of students is dedicating their time and effort to revamping the Burnside Basement, which is a space open to undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty of Science and Interfaculty of Arts and Science, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But they’re going to need your help – and about $6,000 – to do it. Investing in efficient lighting, group study areas, and the installation of white boards to promote collaboration and progress group work will offer small but impactful changes to this student space. This project will help strengthen the scientific community at McGill by bringing individuals together, providing a comfortable area to collaborate and discuss ideas and projects, and offering resources that will help students succeed. Help these students make these crucial changes to the appearance, feel, and overall efficiency of Burnside Basement!

Meet the Project Team: 
Charbel El-Kefraoui
  • U3 Honours in Neuroscience
  • 2015-16 Vice President of Internal Affairs in the Science Undergraduate Society
  • I was a national champion in taekwondo 7 times!
Danielle Toccalino
  • First year MSc candidate studying Neuroscience
  • Currently the CRO of SUS and President emerita
  • I am irrationally terrified of sharks.
Jeremy Goh
  • U2 Pharmacology
  • 3 years with Science Undergraduate Society (Presidential Affairs Committee, VP Academic, President)
  • I love hot Sauce
Sahil Kumar
  • M.Sc Candidate in Experimental Medicine
  • I have been involved with this project and its ongoing work since my tenure as the SUS VP Internal (2013-2014)
  • I have recently endured a sports-related injury...while Curling for the first time
Shaun Lampen
  • Major in Anatomy and Cell Biology; minor in Kinesiology and Biotechnology
  • To provide additional funds and guidance for this project and liaise with the student body to gather input on the design process
  • I was born in South Africa!