It’s not hard to imagine walking with your friend across campus and complaining about how gruelling your professor’s midterm just was. Most of us are notorious for this and it’s come to be a natural part of university life. But the students who reside in Erindale Hall might need to be a bit more cautious about what they say now that several university departments have moved their offices from the North Building into the residence.
These departments include historical studies, language studies, and English and drama. The faculty and staff occupy the second and third floors of the building and the students live on the first, fourth, and fifth. The location switch is a result of the upcoming renovation of North Building and the departments are expected to remain in Erindale for three years until new office space is built for them. The main doors are open to students and staff from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and then it becomes resident-accessible only.
Seems oddly reminiscent of that Arthur episode when Arthur’s teacher comes to live with his family, doesn’t it? At first, it was abnormal and he had to be on his best behaviour, but in time it became a positive experience. Similarly, Erindale students initially felt that sharing their home with professors would be undesirable, but now they appear optimistic about the change.
Erindale resident Chelsea Ranger, a third-year theatre, drama, and performance studies major, has the offices of three of her four professors just a floor or so away from her own apartment. “I’ve run into professors, but not doing laundry yet,” she jokes.
She claims the departments in Erindale “are community-focused. There’s talk in the language department about having an office welcoming party.” She also feels safe despite all the traffic, but “doors do get jammed” on the first floor, she says, so she keeps her door locked.
Jenna Menzies, the community development coordinator for upper-year buildings, discussed the safety procedures in Erindale Hall. A T-Card swipe is required in each of the stairwell doors and the main entrances. Students swipe their card to unlock the door and gain access to the first few floors. Only students who live in the building have access to the fourth and fifth floors. This causes the elevator to only ascend to the third floor unless an authorized resident swipes their T-Card to go higher. “Our neighbourhood watch program also encourages students to be active community members and to report anything out of the ordinary in their community,” says Menzies.
In terms of offices, they are newly renovated. The walls have been knocked down between some of the former residence apartments, while others have only been refurbished—and in some office blocks, stoves, fridges, and sinks are still standing and functional.
“It’s very nice being in Erindale,” says Shabina Moheebulla, the administrative assistant for the historical studies department, adding that faculty are happy to finally have windows in their offices. Moheebulla also claims that the students like coming to office hours because it’s more comfortable and welcoming compared to North. Office hours are estimated to be as well attended as before.
Besides, who wouldn’t want to be able to roll out of bed and go to office hours in a matter of 30 seconds?