Classroom space cut back for double cohort

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By Tanya Sood and Don McHoull

A recent decision to shut down four classrooms has left one professor fuming and hundreds of students inconvenienced and confused.

Professors found out only a week in advance that, starting last Wednesday, classes would no longer be held in rooms L-165 and L-165A. On Monday two more classrooms, L-247A and L-247B, were also closed.

The classrooms are being used to create more office space. Two of those will go to the admissions department so it can deal with the increased number of applications from the double cohort.

“I was extremely upset about this,” said English professor Marie Dowler. “Office space is being given priority over classrooms.”

Dowler complained to Academic Council last week that the room her classes had been moved to in the Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre did not have working video players, and that the move had been disruptive.

“I object to the way in it was done,” she said in an interview. “A mere week was given in notice of the classrooms, and there was no consultation with faculty.”

Registrar Keith Alnwick, who submitted the plan to convert the classrooms, said no advance notice was given because he had been waiting for the plan to be approved by the space allocation committee.

Because such short notice was given of the move, hundreds of students last week were left confused about where their classes were being held.

“I misinformed my students about the day of the transfer because I assumed it was next week,” said history professor Jennifer Hubbard. “I didn’t know they were doing it this week.”

Alnwick said the double cohort could bring about 15,000 additional applications for the upcoming year.

“We don’t have enough [space] to accommodate what we’re doing now, there is an emergency here,” he said.

Alnwick apologized at the Academic Council meeting for shutting down the Jorgenson Hall classrooms before the rooms in the Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre were ready.

Alnwick said that even though the admissions department has taken possession over the two new rooms, he is still trying to push out representatives of unions CUPE and OPSEU from their Jorgenson Hall offices.

“We’re still looking for that space,” said Alnwick. “We need to find a way that they can relinquish that space somehow.”

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