By Raven Smith-Grange
Humber’s student government Ignite is proposing a Lakeshore campus redesign as part of its five-year strategic plan.
But there is little detail about the redesign, which is mentioned briefly in a four-page document titled the Chief Executive Office Monitoring Report. According to minutes of a board meeting held on Oct.10 2018, the redesign will be a part of making the “student experience more comfortable.”
What we do know is that there are things students have said they want to see improve if given the chance.
Lakeshore students Zubi Imtiaz and Aastha Yadar spoke about their experiences using certain classrooms on campus and the hazards they have faced. Imtiaz said she fell last week as walking up the aisle steps in one of I building’s classrooms because of the configuration. Imtiaz mentions bolted down desks, limited space when walking to a seat because of the spatial design, contributes to her frustrations.
Yadar says that because there’s no space, “you’re climbing over people.”
According to the Chief Executive Monitoring Report, Ignite is looking at accessibility. The student government could be in the process of launching an accessibility campaign “to determine what current barriers exist in classrooms,” and “on campus” according to said report.
In an interview, Ignite’s President Monica Khosla spoke about how Ignite identified the barriers students face using focus groups held at North, Lakeshore and Guelph-Humber campus.
“We looked at attitudinal barriers, at barriers regarding the physical structure of our institutions and also barriers in the classrooms and so we had a great turnout of students with a range of disabilities which is great because…it allows for a lot of great conversation and really helpful feedback,” she said.
Khosla also mentioned an initiative led by North Campus’ VP Jeremy Largos-Afonso that was launched to “provide more spaces on campus so students could relax and have more study spaces.”
In an email interview, Largos-Afonso highlighted several projects in the works at the North campus. An H205 study space “will be available during Fall 2019”, wrote Largos-Afonso. As mentioned on Humber’s website, H205 is an open access computer lab. Additional spaces according to Largos-Afonso will open during the 2019-2020 school year depending on the College’s Capital Development and Facilities Team which is responsible for construction, renovation projects and planning for Humber College.
Though students will have to wait and see how the redesign will affect their student experience, Khosla says, “the changes that get made are ultimately going to be with students needs and wants in mind.”
The College’s Capital Development and Facilities Team could not be reached for comment.