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October 30, 2019 | Meeting minutes

Wednesday, October 30

Present: Aditi Malhotra, Arsenio (Jr.) Mostrales, Eddie Low, Eliza Davies-Greenwald, Ken Ogata, Klara Kovarova, Lin Xu, Maria Javier, Mariana Villada Rivera, Marty Penner, Mustafa Nalwala, Vinay Bansal, Yukta Khandagale

Terms of Reference Review

  • The purpose of the Residence Affairs Committee (RAC) is to review issues that are brought to the committee.
  • The Residence Affairs Committee shall meet twice per term.
  • Members of the community who are looking to bring matters forward to RAC for consideration may do so in the following ways:
    • Floor Representatives – residents may approach their floor rep to bring forward ideas and concerns to RAC via the Chestnut Residence Council.
    • Chestnut Residence Council – residents may approach any member of the CRC
    • Executive and share their ideas or concerns to be brought forward to RAC.
    • Electronic Communication – residents may share their ideas or concerns directly to RAC via email (
    • Attending a meeting – residents may also wish to attend a RAC meeting in person.
  • Please see meeting schedule on Residence website.
  • Any concerns regarding RAC should be brought to the attention of the Assistant Dean, Residence Administration.

Residence Life Updates

  • 22 Dons
    • 10 are returning Dons and 12 are new hires.
    • 1 Don is PhD student, 10 Dons are Graduate Students and 11 Dons are
    • Undergraduate Students.
    • Large range of studies and expertise.
    • Conducted training for the last two weeks of August.

Faculty in Residence

  • Professor Chirag Variawa, Engineering Professor.
  • Goals of the placement include:
  • Break down some of the barriers that might otherwise exist between faculty and students, especially given large class sizes for some courses.
  • Support all students (not limited to engineering students).
  • Coordinates programs, such as Industry Night and Dinner with Your Prof.

Bike Auction

  • Large turnout of students at the Auction (25+)
  • Sold 10 bikes and raised $575 for student programming at Chestnut Residence

Gym Equipment

  • Scheduled for Delivery mid-November:
  • One Upright Stationary Bicycle
  • Two Treadmills
  • Two Olympic Bars
  • One Flat Bench

Piano Tuning

  • Tuned and attempted to repair all four pianos
    • Baby Grand in Room Three is unfortunately not fixable – as such it will be rehomed
    • Moving forward there will be three pianos (two uprights and one baby grand) and 2-3 scheduled tuning/maintenance/piano/year.

Bulletin Boards

  • Ten new bulletin boards were installed in August 2019.
  • Project to replace damaged/old bulletin boards will continue with ten additional bulletin boards to be purchased and installed in 2020-21.

Building Operations

  • Parking Garage Project has been extended (previously end date: December 2019) (current end date: March 2020).
  • WiFi Update Project is complete:
    • No one at the table had any negative experiences with the WiFi since the update.
  • Some of the residence rooms were missing furniture (armoire, chair, etc.) at Move-In:
    • All rooms have since been fully furnished.

Food Services

  • Recent Hire: Tarini Bidaisee, Dietician (
  • If there are any concerns with Food Services, please let the cashier know right away. A SousChef is available between the hours of 6:30am-11:00pm
  • Menus:
    • Note: Recipes at Cashier (not available online yet)
  • Events Calendar:
  • Allergen form:
  • Have replaced all plates this year
  • Feedback from Students:
    • Tongs better than the spoons in the salad station
    • Better than last year re: cross-contamination
    • Cutlery is a lot cleaner this year
    • Still noticing dirty plates mixed into clean plates (can’t put away plates that are wet)

Urban Crew Updates

  • Marty Penner is the Urban Crew Manager
    • Maintains the space and oversees 19 volunteers who help animate Urban
    • New Hiring Process
      • Last Year: Online Applications Only
      • This Year: Early launch of Online Applications followed by In-Person Interview (will do this process again next year)
    • Schedule for Urban Crew Volunteers:
      • Monday-Thursday: 5pm-11pm
      • Friday: 5pm-Midnight
      • Saturday/Sunday: Noon-Midnight
  • Encouraging Volunteers to take on additional programming responsibilities, as interested, ex. PingPong Tournament organized by Frank.

Residence Council

  • Recently put up board with images and names of Council Members.
    • Recently Hosted:
      Haunted House
      Ping-Pong Tournament
  • Events are advertised on Facebook Page/ Instagram and Chestnut Facebook/ Posters on each Floor/ Lobby


  • No updates at this time.

Other Topics/Issues as Identified


Elevator Four is shaky
o Building Ops has already notified elevator technicians and it has been taken offservice.

  • Wait time for elevators
    Concern re: number of elevators put in service for non-student use.
    Increase in wait times.
  • Housekeeping Concern of Students putting stickers on elevators.
  • Better Communication is Needed
    Post information about best practices related to elevators (number of people in elevator)
    Provide updates regarding when elevators are out of service and expected back in service times

Quiet Space

  • 28th Floor is supposed to be a quiet area, but it is often really loud as students come in groups and explain things to each other. Students need a more protected quiet space.
  • 28th floor can have more signage – respect that it is a quiet space.

Fire Drill

  • Procedure for re-entering for fire alarms. It is consistently challenging with everyone trying to use elevators at once.
    • Suggestion: Encourage people to go into Urban/Dining Hall until the line is shorter.
  • Dons are already assisting with line management.

Facilities Concern

  • Do not flush items down toilets, such as chicken bones or toothbrushes
  • Curtain need to be inside of the tub to avoid leaks
  • Could place signage by toilets/in washrooms
  • Social Media/Facebook posts about facilities issues
    • Chestnut Fun Facts/Helpful Tips idea (elevator, washroom, etc.) – frequency & repetition