There’s a new buzz on the University of Winnipeg campus. A recently created multi-purpose space called the HIVE is opening up new possibilities for student groups, and new opportunities for students to connect and share creatively.
UW student Thomas Aitken has taken advantage of the space by creating weekly musical jam sessions for fellow students.
“I kind of wandered here in the beginning of term, and I started meeting people here,” Aitken says. “Last year I had the idea to make a student group, and I started texting up friends of mine who I know make music. There’s a lot of musicians at this school.”
From there the idea blossomed.
The student group Aitken runs is called the Hive Vibe, a casual, drop-in type group open to anyone – regardless of musical talent or student status. “Basically if you are interested in making music, listening to music, or just want to come chill, I’m here,” he explains.
Currently the group is small but comfortable; Aitken says about only five or six people get together at a time. The group is still relatively new, having started in September of last year.
“I’ve decided to do Mellow Mondays, 1:30 to 3:30 pm approximately. I bring my acoustic guitar and basically we’ll have some acoustic jams on Mondays. Then there’s Wired Wednesday. Today’s a Wednesday, so I brought my electric stuff.”
Prior to July 2013, the space was designated as a prayer room for Muslim students (and before that it was a smoking room), but a change in location opened it up to new possibilities.
Nawal Tajdin, Vice President of Student Services at the University of Winnipeg Students Association, sees great potential for the Hive.
“My predecessor Lana Hastings, she was a big part of imagining what The Hive could be for students in terms of an interactive space where you could have performances, a hang out meeting place, a study place, a super interactive modern, multi-purpose area for students,” she says.
“The University of Winnipeg is lacking a nice hang out space that reflects the 21st century.”
Tajdin throws out potential ideas for The Hive including events such as spoken word session, and hooking up speakers that can connect CKUW (campus radio) to the room.
Students are encouraged to share their ideas as well. Aitken has been in discussion with the designated renovators about possibly getting cupboards for musical instrument storage. He has a lot of ideas for the group that he hopes to see developed this year.
“I want to do every second Friday as a performance jam as well,” he says. “Like a potluck jam type of thing where people can bring food if they want to.
“I’m hoping it turns into a steady student group that can stay past my time at U of W.”