so, while york university hasn't gone ahead with their horrifyingly ugly and depressing renovations of vari hall they HAVE gone ahead with some kind of information desk/kiosk.
reports of "jackhammering" yesterday in the middle of the hall are correct and the university has moved closer towards their goal of destroying student space.
i spoke with the president of the YFS, krishna, today and he confirmed what york university wouldn't.
krishna said that the YFS has written letters not just to the university but to various stakeholders and had meetings with university administrators about maintaining accessible student space in vari hall that not only meets the needs of students who are in class, but doesn't ignore the fact that vari hall was built as a democratic space where protesting could be spontaneous and visible.
krishna says it's important to the YFS that any renovation be based on a balanced evaluation of how vari hall can facilitate students "exercising their charter right" to demonstrate but also have classroom time free of disruption. unfortunately, the university is focusing "disproportionately on one right over another."
while claiming to care about what students think of renovating vari hall, the university abruptly cordoning off the space and ripping it up makes an entirely different statement.
by doing this the first week of classes the university is saying to students, new and old, that vari hall is theirs. that it belongs to the university and that they don't give a shit what students think should be done with it. doesn't york university have enough kiosks? isn't it ugly enough? isn't it already have a sufficient amount of hostility towards its own students?
also, is the university even allowed to be installing a kiosk, considering that vari hall is under review for historic site status??
but even though there is technically some construction happening in vari hall, students should still be celebrating the fact that there aren't plants, desks, and couches in there.
we still win, york.