Ten double rooms located in the A and B wings of Victoria Hall will be turned into common rooms.
The change follows a fire inspection that happened late this summer.The rooms have doors that open into a stairwell and therefore break fire code regulation.
As a result, 20 first-year residents were re-assigned rooms before move-in day on Sept. 4.
“We tried to keep as many people in Vic as we could,” Bruce Griffiths, director of housing and hospitality, said. “Some people did have to move out of Vic and that was unfortunate.”
Griffiths said the building hasn’t undergone such a detailed inspection in “a while.” “Really, when the fire department says you can’t have students there, we have to react to that,” he said.
“Where we could, we moved the students into the existing common room and put the common room up in the old room.”
Installing cable television and removing the furniture from the old common rooms will come at a minor cost, he said. Griffiths said a re-allocation of this nature has never happened before on campus, and added that it’s unlikely other residences will be affected when the fire inspector does thorough inspections of other buildings.
“I don’t think we have any other rooms like that elsewhere,” he said.
Audit done on campus washrooms
Queen’s Physical Plant Services and the Human Rights Office teamed up to complete an audit of gender neutral bathrooms on campus.
A similar survey was completed by the Sexual Health Resource Centre and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students in 2008.
AMS Social Issues Commissioner T.K. Pritchard was invited to join the project by Jean Pfleiderer, an advisor from the Human Rights Office. Pritchard worked with four other student volunteers over a month-long period to take a survey of the bathrooms in 90 campus buildings.
The group noted whether the bathrooms were gender neutral or for single-gender use. These numbers were then given to Physical Plant Services.
“They will be adding it all up and figuring out which bathrooms they can convert, which I’m hoping will be most of them,” Pritchard, ArtSci ’12, said.
He said the audit was done to make the university an inclusive and safe space for all students.
“Currently, there are some gender neutral bathrooms that exist, but they’re not always easy to find. They’re not very well marked and they don’t exist in all buildings,” he said.