In an effort to provide students with safe study spaces on campus, Queen’s Student Affairs has provided a tent outside Mackintosh-Corry Hall for student access.
The tent was set up Oct. 5 and is available for use between 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. The space is situated so that it has a stable internet connection for students who require access to Wi-Fi.
“Some of our students living off-campus in Kingston have been experiencing Internet issues in their homes. For example, if several students in a shared household were online at the same time for classes, bandwidth can be an issue,” Ann Tierney, vice provost and dean of Student Affairs, wrote in a statement to The Journal.
“In addition, students in residence are also looking for safe alternative places to study and work with members of their household cohorts.”
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The tent can seat a maximum of 16 students at any given time, with four tables designed to accommodate four students each.
Students who choose to sit at the same table must sit with students who are in the same household or social bubble to maintain physical distancing requirements.
To ensure health and safety requirements are being maintained, tables and chairs are also removed from the tent twice daily to be sanitized by Queen’s Hospitality Services. The tent also provides sanitizing wipes for students to wipe down tables and chairs.
Students who access the tent must use the seQure COVID-19 screening app and wear face coverings while using the tent. Employees from Hospitality Services and Campus Security check the tent at various points throughout the day to ensure students who choose to access the tent are complying with health and safety regulations.
“We have seen a few dozen students use the space so far,” Tierney wrote. “Students have communicated to us that they appreciate the option of a safe alternative to study outside their rooms or homes.”
READ MORE: AMS advocates for more safe social spaces on campus
While the University will keep the tent open as long as it remains warm enough outside to do so, the AMS is continuing to advocate for more safe social spaces on campus.
“The AMS believes that safe social spaces should be treated as a safety protocol during a remote semester, especially considering COVID-19. We are continuing to prioritize advocating to the University to allow students safe ways to access campus,” AMS President Jared den Otter told The Journal. “The AMS is in communication with the Campus Operations Group regarding safe spaces for students to access.”
“If students are given safe, accessible and trackable methods to access campus, study and socialize, this will help maintain the health and safety of the community.”
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