Public displays of affection, noise, harassment and property misuse have been some of the growing number of concerns amongst students and staff upstairs in Syre Student Center at Whatcom Community College. A “town meeting” was issued on Friday, Dec. 2, by the student government to discuss and resolve some of these issues.
Brian Keeley, Facilities Director, said besides events leading to the balcony being closed, the elevator has been played around in, chairs have to be replaced, restrooms have holes punched in the walls, towel dispensers have been torn off, etc. In order for the balcony to be let open, these behaviors need to change.
“We’re just really hoping to get everyone involved,” said Laura Hansen, student government.
Some ideas to try and end these behaviors would be motivated by inspirational posters, a hanging of rules to help remind what’s appropriate, prohibiting the bigger chairs from moving, taping around the smaller ones to show where they should be put back, using headphones to limit noisiness, and the great reminder of “if you wouldn’t want to see your parents doing it…”
“The student body here will be on board together to make sure the culture changes,” said Kris Baier, Director of Student Life and Athletics.
The idea of providing more furniture that’s equipped to be moved around was mentioned. Baier said that could be possible, student government does have a budget for that.
“We want to show this is an amazing school here,” said John Laigaie, student government.
A few students who spend time upstairs Syre said they would help guide this behavior in a better direction. They believe if the students can prove they will no longer misuse the facility, the balcony would provide a better environment for everyone; including those who hang out or study in that area.
“There just needs to be a relationship built back up between the students and the space,” said Hansen. “I think you all will affect this more than you think.”