Yellow House opens its doors

Students, staff, and AMS celebrate opening

Students, staff, and faculty celebrated Thursday's Yellow House opening.
Photo: 
Students, staff, and faculty celebrated Thursday's Yellow House opening.
Photo: 
Students, staff, and faculty celebrated Thursday's Yellow House opening.
Photo: 
Students, staff, and faculty celebrated Thursday's Yellow House opening.
Photo: 
Students, staff, and faculty celebrated Thursday's Yellow House opening.
Photo: 
Despite the cold weather on Thursday afternoon, there was a high turnout for the soft launch of the Yellow House, a safe space dedicated to inclusivity groups on campus.
 
Selected by the University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE) subcommittee last March, the four student groups with space in the Yellow House include Queen’s University Muslim Students Association (QUMSA), the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, the African and Caribbean Students’ Association (ACSA), and the Queen’s Black Academic Society (QBAS). The groups have gradually been moving into the house since September. 
 
The Yellow House was first founded by the Office of the Provost and under the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) report in 2017 with the goal of serving as a safe space for students from minority groups on campus. 
 
“The house is significant because I think we continue to work on creating an environment of inclusion, and I think the house symbolizes that for a lot of students,” Corinna Fitzgerald, assistant dean (Student Life and Learning), told The Journal at Thursday’s launch. 
 
She said the opening of the house is a step forward for campus inclusivity, even though “there’s a whole lot more to do.” 
 
While the University is still in the process of finding a director for the house, Fitzgerald expressed her desire to support and assist in informing first-year students of the House, which consists of two floors, two living rooms and meeting spaces, and one large kitchen. 
 
Members of the four student groups, AMS executives, and faculty attended Thursday’s launch.
 
According to Danny McLaren (ArtSci, ’21), board member of the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, the club is in the process of expanding its library in the house. 
 
“I think it’s really important because I feel like marginalized students don’t have that many spaces on campus,” MacLaren said. “I’m excited for the events that will happen here.” 
 
In an interview with Arunima Khanna, a psychologist of cross-culture diversity affairs, she said the space is important for like-minded people to come together and support as a community. 
 
“Our social identities are so complex, and to me, that’s really exciting because I see a hope for all sorts of people coming together in trying to work into a more integrated student community,” Khanna said. 
 
Khanna also said the house will ensure mental wellness. “Hopefully, it will be a space where everyone feels understood and validated.” 
 
“The Yellow House represents the space for marginalized students on campus, and it’s important for us to have our own safe and accountable space to be able to create community, and to be able to establish our own connections,” Bunisha Samuels, AMS social issues commissioner, said in an interview.
 

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