Unsanitary, Possibly Unsafe, Conditions Cited in Student Success Hub Grievancecsudhbulletin March 5, 2020 0 COMMENTS
By Dayszha Lino, Co-News editor
Complaints about cramped working conditions in the Student Success Hub have risen to a new level as a grievance claim has been filed with the California State University system citing dangerous and unsanitary conditions.
Space and student confidentiality have been an issue since the hub opened last semester on the North Library’s third floor. But the grievance complaint filed by Daryl Evans raises issues of what he believes to be possibly hazardous working conditions, including cubicles blocking access to fire alarms (in a building that has no fire sprinklers) and students tripping over air conditioning adapters by couches in the Career Center.
Evans, who said the filed the claim Jan. 22, is a member of the Academic Professionals of California, a union on campus. He filed the claim, he said, because the “unhealthy working conditions,” violated his union’s contract.
Along with unsafe working conditions, Evans also mentioned unsanitary conditions, such as dead cockroaches found under desks and tables, overflowing trash cans and toilet paper strewn across bathroom floors and often never cleaned up.
Mark Kerr, who is a steward and academic advisor for CSUDH’s program for registered nurses seeking bachelor’s degrees in nursing, said students have said lights by the Career Center lounge have given them headaches and migraines.
“This kind of stuff shouldn’t be happening,” Kerr said.
Vice Provost Ken O’Donnell, said he had not read the grievance but takes “it as an important sign of the hardship faced by colleagues that we value. Fixing this is urgent.”
O’Donnell said he thinks the hub’s issues will be remedied by a combination of relocating some offices, reconfiguring those that stay and “improving the layout and soundproofing on the whole floor. Open office floor plans can work and aren’t uncommon. We just need to make ours work better as a space where people can do their jobs. The president and cabinet are committed to doing this as soon as possible.”
Kerr and Evans both believe the lack of space and privacy in the SSH violates the Federal/Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA), a law that protects student privacy.
Several organizations in the SSH, like the Woman’s Resource Center and EOP, deal with students who are sharing confidential information. The lack of doors and the low walls have been a complaint since the SSH opened.
“Would you want to open up to your advisor if you were in this space?” Evans asked.
Evans is part of an organization that has created an Instagram handle, “DHspacedisgrace,” as well as created yellow shirts bearing the group’s name. It currently has 75 posts and 69 followers. Beneath its name on its Instagram page, are the words: “Student spaces should be safe spaces.”
Evans said the goal was to encourage students to share photos and express their feelings over things that have been bothering them about the SSH.
“Everything we have on this campus has to be utilized for the students’ interest,” Evans said.