Students in Humber Residence concerned about lack of communication, raise issues about mask enforcement

Humber College North campus announced eight cases of COVID-19 on Nov. 23. The COVID-19 Reporting Summary webpage says this is the ninth consecutive week with at least one confirmed case on North campus.

Humber College Lakeshore campus announced one new case of COVID-19. This was the first case confirmed on Lakeshore campus since September.

That brings the total to 28 cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Humber College campuses since Sept. 1.

Humber records a case when an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 was present on campus within 14 days of their diagnosis.

Humber provides a weekly update of the number of cases with connections to campus every Monday. Local public health authorities or a member of the COVID Reporting Health team follow up with anyone deemed at risk for contracting the virus.

Emily Milic publics relations and communications manager would not confirm the number of cases in Humber Residence. She says this is “to be able to maintain the privacy of the individuals.”

Concerns about communication

Chloe Champagne, a second-year esthetician and spa management student at Humber College says she is concerned by the school’s lack of communication.

Champagne lives in residence and says she was not aware there were confirmed cases on campus. She says an email notifying the school community of cases on campus would have been appreciated by her.

“I’m putting the trust in this college to of course house me and educate me, but I’m also putting trust in them that they will keep me safe and they will do whatever they can to ensure that I feel safe,” says Champagne.

Communication not the only COVID-19 concern 

Champagne says fellow students living in residence do not wear masks in public areas. “It just drives me insane when I see people without them,” says Champagne.

Darcy Klimevyk a media studies student at University of Guelph-Humber, says some students don’t wear masks in residence. “There are a lot of people who don’t wear their masks in the hallways or don’t wear their mask down to the cafeteria,” said Klimevyk who uses they instead of the gender specific pronouns she or he, a first-year.

“People not wearing masks especially in the cafeteria has been brought up to staff,” says Klimevyk. They say students are asked to tell Humber Residence staff when the person was spotted so the staff can check the security cameras and contact the student or staff not wearing their mask.

Concerns about failure to follow the COVID-19 protocols at Carleton University led to the creation of a COVID-19 committee, says Jaden Slawter, president of the Rideau River Residence Association. “There wasn’t much talk of COVID-19 guidelines being promoted around our school,” says Slawter.

The COVID-19 committee created a one-week social media campaign to encourage residents to follow pandemic guidelines, says Slawter. The “Mask Up or Pack Up” campaign included videos about mask use, how to self-isolate and how to stay safe while sexually active during the pandemic.

“It’s been a great response. We haven’t heard any negative feedback,” says Slawter. He also says Ottawa Public Health has complimented the “Mask Up or Pack Up” campaign.

 

(Rideau River Residence Association Video)

No student driven COVID-19 committee at Humber

A student driven COVID-19 committee on campus “sounds like a great idea” says Stefan Thomas, an Ignite board member. “It is something that would have to be brought to discussion by our board,” says Thomas.

Milic says there are committees for COVID-19 at Humber college. A COVID-19 steering committee shaped what a return to campus would look like, says Milic adding the work is “ongoing”.

Milic says reducing the number of students living in Humber Residence has been a part of the plan for a safe return to campus during the pandemic.

There are fewer than 300 students living in residence between both the North and the Lakeshore campuses, says Milic. Previously, the maximum capacity of residence between both campuses was 1445 students.

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