On Monday the 22nd of August at 2pm, the official opening of ‘The House’ took place – a new space at Callaghan campus that’s for students.
Decked out with lounges, a kitchen WITH a toastie machine, an upstairs mezzanine, private study rooms, conference call options on the displays, and places for collaborative study groups. It has very comfortable seats, a beautifully designed mural, and practical features throughout, giving The House a really nice, modern vibe.
It is seemingly accessible and inclusive for all, with a wheelchair access ramp, a lift inside, and adjustable sitting/standing desks. Unfortunately, after a second assessment of the area, we realised there were a few flaws to be noted. Firstly, the wheelchair access ramp requires you to go around the entirety of the building as there is only one access point. The fire escape exit is on the middle level between ground floor and level 1 and is only accessible via stairs. Additionally, to exit via that emergency door, there is no ramp, only a step which, in an emergency situation, is not ideal at all. There was a fire escape door on the bottom floor near the lift however, it was locked, so who knows where that leads to…?
Despite UNSA begging for an inclusive bathroom, there remains only three available; female, male, and a disabled toilet. This is a verrry disappointing move from the university. It’s 2022, inclusive bathrooms should be MANDATORY in new buildings.
The fact that it is open for students for extended hours, 6am-1am by swiping their student access card, is an amazing game changer. Auchmuty library closes at 9pm weekdays and 5pm weekends but how often do students work over these times especially when the assignments are due at 12am?? It’s disruptive for students to get kicked out at a relatively early time of night when they’re on a role and/or cramming. So there’s a “yay” to The House.
And hey, while this student space doesn’t give us any better parking options or make up for the stupid, moneygrabbing ticket system in place, at least now, when you have a one hour class you have to pay a full day’s parking ticket for, you have a place to hang out. Make some food, have a study sesh, do your thang, etc.
Hey, I’m Mel Jenkins, your Editor of the Opus Magazine and fellow student, studying a Bachelor of Communications. When I’m not working, studying, or playing netball, you’ll find me at the beach, having a boogie at the club, or napping. I also LOVE camping and exploring new places, so if you have any suggestions for a uni girl on a budget—send some ideas my way!