While many have been home during the last 18 months, the Glendon campus buckled up and took this time to make some much needed changes. With that hard work and planning, much progress has been achieved.
President of the Glendon College Student Union, Stephen Teong says, “As a student who has been at Glendon for quite some time now, it was wonderful to have returned to campus and see the many renovations that have been completed since the start of the pandemic. York’s efforts to upgrade and improve our campus are welcomed and very much appreciated.”
Advisor and Deputy Spokesperson of Media Relations of York Yanni Dagonas says: “We took advantage of the available space to do a lot of renovations over the past 18 months.” Dagonas gives a sneak peek of the latest developments.
On an infrastructural base, the Rose Garden has been revitalized along with the much needed upgrade of York Hall with work done to floors, ceilings, walls, office doors, and lighting. With this also comes the refurbishment of the historic Glendon Gate and wall at the entrance of the campus.
To be in line with public health and pandemic guidelines, “improved ventilation” has been made to “ensure a clean environment.”
Residences have also been upgraded with the addition of the first fully accessible residence building. “The Hilliard Residence has been retrofitted with an elevator and additional accessible student rooms and bathrooms to ensure that a full trace of room options exists for students looking to live on-campus,” says Dagonas, which he says includes refreshed corridors, common rooms, and study spaces. which help provide a more welcoming, modern experience for residents.
In addition, private community bathrooms allow students to live in traditional-style rooms while having access to a single-person bathroom in their house. Costing approximately $8.5 million according to Dagonas, the original valley ceiling in the Hilliard main lobby was also restored and continues to be an important design element recognized by the Glendon community.
Wood Residence has also been recently renovated, including a new accessible entrance lobby and front desk, refreshed student spaces with water filtration stations, upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and a new roof.
Important spaces such as the Interfaith and Meditation Centre have been renovated as a push for diversity. Dagonas continues this notion by mentioning that “diversity and inclusion are foundational values of York and we have long been a leader in practicing those progressive values. We have a commitment to continual improvement, and we look for opportunities that support our shared values.”
Sonia Said, President of Glendon’s Muslim Students’ Association, comments on the renovation of the Interfaith and Meditation Centre. “Since the pandemic, the place has changed a little bit for health and safety reasons. For instance, we need to book prior to coming to the room and keep our masks on. Moreover, the room has been cleaned and renovated to assure inclusivity. In that sense, it is a real gift to us. We are lucky to be able to have this place of inclusivity directly on campus.”
Said continues by saying that the Interfaith and Meditation Center “brings a sense of belonging. Simply being able to pray or meditate in a special place on the small yet beautiful campus of Glendon is a real asset in students’ lives. It emphasizes the idea of unity on campus and just brings another opportunity for us to feel like the campus is a little bit like our home.”
“York has committed to increasing the number of Black faculty and Glendon welcomed two tenure streamed Black faculty who started teaching this year. We also hope to hire two new additional indigenous faculty members for next year,” Dagonas adds about the furthering of diversity and equity of the campus.
Naima Sood, a fifth-year student in sociology and communications, says “it’s a great initiative that has been taken to upgrade the facilities at the Glendon campus. I am really looking forward to seeing what else is in store at Glendon for the winter semester.”
With the enhancements of many aspects within the campus, there’s a hope that student life as whole will be positively impacted. Though many students have not had many in-person classes thus far, returning fully back will surely be refreshing.