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November 11, 2021 | Meeting minutes

Thursday, November 11

Present: Bolu, Ciel, Dave, Devon, Eliza, Honoka, Kate, Maria, Mustafa, Timothy
Regrets: Andrea, Eddie, Ishika, Kevin, Klara

Terms of Reference

  • Reviewed

Residence Life Updates

  • Common Spaces Overview
    • COVID restrictions still in place for our common areas
    • Please note that the way that Public Health views residences/postsecondary institutions is different than the average space
      • Chestnut Residence does not make these decisions themselves
      • Following Public Health guidelines with the support of EHS (Environmental Health and Safety – UofT Department)
  • Currently Open
    • Urban Lounge: Max. Capacity: 25
    • 28th Study Room: Max. Capacity: 25
    • Study Rooms (3): Max. Capacity: 2
    • Wellness Room: Max. Capacity: 2
    • Music Rooms (5): Max. Capacity: 2
    • Gym: Max. Capacity: 6
    • Fitness Studio: Max. Capacity: 2
  • Currently Closed
    • 27th Floor
      • Working with Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) to open this space as soon as possible
      • Unfortunately, as the space is in the shape of a donut, it is not possible to open the full space (it would be impossible for students to visually track capacity when entering the space)
      • Hopefully will open part of the 27th floor within the coming weeks
  • Visitor Policy has recently been updated (previously no guests allowed)
    • Currently allowing students to have 1 guest visit at a time. Guests must live in another UofT residence.
      • Planned future stages of policy
        • 1) Anyone from UofT Community
        • 2) Anyone
    • Vaccination verification: for all stages, people will need to be vaccinated or enrolled in a rapid testing program due to an approved exemption
  • Waste Water testing (organic waste water is testing 1 or 2 times per week)

Administrative & Finance Updates

  • Working on the budget for 2022-23
  • Upcoming Operations Projects
    • Replacing hallway carpets – 3 floors remaining (will be completed this winter break)
    • PTAC units (heating and cooling units) have been shipped and should be arriving this month, no set arrival date yet (original arrival date: May 2021)
    • Working on replacing drapery in rooms (have finished two floors so far and will continue to work on this throughout this year and in the coming years)
    • Looking at updating bathrooms for upcoming years, in the planning stages now
      • Schedule has not been confirmed yet
      • Will look at many factors to determine schedule, including: occupancy rates and reviewing work orders to identify the rooms where it is needed the most

Food Services Updates

  • Increased seating capacity in the Dining Hall
    • No longer need to seat 2 or 4 to table – can now sit in long harvest table
  • Birthday Cake celebrating monthly
  • Special Days
    • World Pasta Day
    • Thanksgiving Menu
    • Diwali Treats
    • World Kindness Day
    • French Toast Day
    • December Holiday Themed Dinner
    • Exam Jam Themed Events
  • Eco-2-Go program
    • Please return any containers in room
      • Are running low on containers
      • All returned containers will be washed, sanitized and put up again
  • Dining Hall Committee
    • No volunteers from first year students
    • Looking into creative solutions to increase participation
  • Mobile App
  • Working to launch as soon as possible (have experienced a number of delays related to contractors)

Housekeeping Updates

  • Laundry Room machines with display errors are back online
  • Still a number of machines out of order due to leaks

Urban Crew Updates

  • Schedule Confirmed
  • Recent programming
    • Halloween Movie Night
    • Costume Prizes
    • Pumpkin Carving
    • Reading Week Movie Night
  • Mask Wearing Issues
    • More and more people are feeling more frustrated/resentful of mask-wearing policies (attitude has shifted from previous years)
    • Average Urban Crew shift: 5+ people/shift who need multiple reminders to put mask back on
    • Suggestion: Automated reminders intermittently – Please Wear Your Mask (similar to how one would hear at a store such as Wal-Mart)

Residence Council Updates (Bolu)

  • VP, Internal Chestnut Residence Council
    • Day to Day workings
    • Bring issues forward to council
    • Collectively work on implementing events to overall improve residence and culture
  • Still electing officials onto council
  • Planning to meet this evening

Student Updates


  • Academic Mentors ‘
  • Time Management workshop recently – low turnout
  • Study Session tonight

Laundry Discussion

Room for Improvement

  • People don’t take their things out in a timely manner
  • Piles of clothes sitting around on top of laundry bins and table behind us
  • ½ of the machines were tapped with Out of Order signs
  • Lines can happen during busier hours

Feedback on Potential Features:

  • The ability to see which machines are available either through a web page or app;
    • Very positive responses
  • The ability to be notified by text when a machine is free;
    • Not very helpful
  • The ability to be notified by text when your load of laundry is almost done
    • Could be helpful, but not critical
    • Already set an alarm on their phone
    • Might be helpful as a reminder to folks who forget their stuff there
  • The ability to load a vendor specific laundry card in the laundry room, by cash or credit card
    • Currently used
    • Would like to have a poster with clear steps on how to use the machine to reload the card
  • The ability to load a vendor specific laundry card online
    • Better than in-person – would like both
    • Easier to load online
  • Preference for using one’s TCard vs a vendor specific card for payment
    • T-Card would be very useful!
  • Ability to purchase supplies like detergent, etc., from a vending machine or other means;
    • Depends, could be helpful
    • Would need to be consistently available and affordable
  • Any other enhancements to the room – e.g. folding tables
    • Sock Lost and Found
    • Need repair for some of the current chairs – don’t feel sturdy
  • Any suggestions for other features in washers or dryers, means of payment, etc.
    • None suggested

Additional Comments

  • Dining Hall Related
    • Suggestion: partnerships with other restaurants? Use your T-Card at other locations (i.e. purchase Bubble Tea with your T-Card)
    • Pan Station concerns create long lines, doesn’t flow well
      • Suggestion: ensure ordering from the pan station is available on the Mobile App
      • Suggestion to make use of both pan stations on weekends as well – could help
    • Hard to communicate, lots of background sounds
      • Suggestion: microphone to better communicate with staff
    • Food has to be passed over the ingredients under the Plexiglass and is awkward to receive
  • IT Related
    • Could we have one laptop that could be logged out for staff? Yes there are laptops available from the RLO