House of Learning changes on hold, consultations rescheduled

Plans are on hold to make changes to building hours and study space in the House of Learning. Consultations have been rescheduled for May. (FILE PHOTO)

Changes to the House of Learning are on hold, and consultations on the university’s proposal have now been pushed back until May.

The consultations came about after staff and faculty who currently occupy space that may be repurposed, including offices and library space, complained that proper consultation wasn’t done.

After the response, TRU set up a series of consultation meetings to be held at the end of March and in early April. Those meetings didn’t happen, however, and now they’ve been pushed back until May.

“This is probably the busiest time of the semester and it was really inappropriate to have these sessions now. A lot of professors are teaching during that time,” said Tom Friedman, the president of the TRU Faculty Association.

TRU had committed to adding more 24-hour study spaces by Fall 2017, and for students, that could be good news for those who are still studying.

In TRUSU’s Student Budget Consultation Report 2017, students noted space for studying as a priority. Students also voiced their desire for 24-hour access to study space in the House of Learning, and praised study space initiatives already present in Old Main.

The university is developing a proposal for the House of Learning that may address those concerns, but staff and faculty space is also a concern.

“It is important to have [the] consultation before students leave, though. Consultation doesn’t mean being told what administration is going to do. It also should mean taking into account the perspectives and needs of all of the groups and then developing a plan that would work for everyone,” Friedman said.

TRUFA and TRUSU do not have exact dates for the coming consultations yet, though TRU said it recognizes the importance of holding these discussions since the proposal should be presented to those who addressed concerns.

“The idea of consultation is that you gather all the evidence, you listen to what people need. Ideally, you listen to all of those concerns and then you make a plan,” Friedman said.