A dedicated queer space on campus has been in the works since 2018 and, more than two years down the track, is still facing issues.
As previously reported by Critic, the space was meant to open on the first floor of the University Union building near the Terrace Lounge by the end of April. It would include furniture, decorations, amenities like a kitchen space, and would provide a secure and supportive physical space for the queer community on campus.
According to Property Services Division Acting Director Graeme Marshall at time of print, “the space should still be usable the end of this month as most of the refit is finished.”
OUSA President Michaela Waite-Harvey told Critic, however, that “there is still substantial work to be done on the room and the room can’t open until those are completed. We are not sure what is still to happen or why it is being delayed, we are meeting with property services to discuss this and understand the issues they are having.”
The issues include a wall that will block a sprinkler, causing safety compliance issues that need to be addressed and the Property Services Division Facility Manager will meet with OUSA to work out a temporary solution. Marshall also admitted the dimmer switches and glass door frosting that OUSA had requested would not be in place in time for opening.
OUSA previously announced the door would be swipe-card accessible only, for the safety of the students in the space. At time of print, details on how students would go about gaining swipe-card access, and which students are eligible, remain unclear.