Students from the Faculty of Education organized a public forum on Friday, November 24th. All attendees gathered in the education building to have an open discussion about the appalling conditions of the chairs in the faculty.
The discussion was mostly informal, with few planned speeches. Students, faculty, and staff were all present at the event, including some representatives from MUN administration. Other notable attendees included MUNSU’s Director of Student Life, the Dean of Education, and representatives from Facilities Management. While members of Memorial’s top administration, including President Bose were absent.
“My grandparents sat in these chairs.”
Among the key issues brought up by speakers and attendees was that the chairs at the university are well overdue to be replaced; with one student claiming that their “grandparents sat in the same chairs at MUN 50 years ago.” It has been revealed that the design has been in use since the 1970s and possibly the 1960s.
Another issue highlighted was the poor condition of the accessibility chairs provided by the Blundon Centre. According to one student, the accessibility chairs can cause those requiring them to “stand out and the chairs [don’t] belong in a modern learning environment.”
While unconfirmed, many students have speculated that the main reason for the chairs’ extended lifespan is budgetary constraints at MUN, highlighting the fact that while students sit in discomfort, the former president of the university spent thousands of dollars on a single table and chair.
The organizers also noted how when they complained about the chairs, their class was moved to a different location, and the students who had been using the classroom they were moved to, were then moved to the organizers’ original room with the original chairs.
Students from across the university have chimed in over the past week about Memorial’s deplorable seating as well. If you have issues with the chairs available in your classes, students are encouraged to reach out to their instructors, deans, department heads, and university administrators.