Opinion: Problems Living at OK Hall

This semester at OK Hall I noticed it is extremely difficult to use basic amenities. The kitchens, study rooms, and computer rooms are all always under lock and key. Staff fears students will damage and dirty these spaces, and they would not be wrong considering what students have done in the past. I plea for a chance to prove ourselves in the spring.

There are two kitchens in OK Hall, but the second floor kitchen has been designated for staff use only. This is a huge inconvenience for many residents of Ok Hall as only a handful of staff actually use the second floor kitchen versus the close to two hundred students who occupy the building. The accessible first floor kitchen is often locked, in use, or reserved for clubs leaving residents without a way to cook food, keep food cold, or access food items. I feel this is wrong. I have spent too much money on Pizza Shuttle and Tryyaki this semester. I would like to be able to prepare my own meals with healthy ingredients. I could save money by doing this as well as cut down on my personal waste. Ever since I have been here these restrictions have been in place, regardless that the initial violators are long-gone. We are being punished for the mess of people who are not even here. I ask the OK Hall staff to use next spring to give students another shot to be responsible. Do what you have to monitor the situation to ensure appliances are used properly and kitchen items are cleaned. I would ask for a trial of trust and to no longer use the technique of “blanket punishment” just to use amenities we have already paid for with our fees.

The second floor computer room and study rooms are constantly locked. The computer room is to remain open for purposes of school work. That is why we are here. I feel the same about the study room.

If we are treated like criminals and children then that behavior will follow. Please OK Hall staff, perform an experiment and give us the chance to prove ourselves as the responsible, considerate, and capable Indigenous youth that we are. We need an atmosphere of safety but not suspicion. We need to feel comfortable not surveilled. We need support not scare-tactics. Take whatever measures necessary to penalize violators, but give us back our freedom to cook, write, and study. I beg of you.

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