Cleveland Hall should open doors for cold students

Andrew DiMartino, News Editor & Photographer

We’re no strangers to chilling weather and some insane snowfall here in Buffalo and it looks like the winter season is starting to rear its head again.

Around this time each year, as the sun sets earlier and the temperature gets colder and colder, I find myself stuck in the same situation. Along with many other students, I rely on my apartment’s shuttle system to drive through Cleveland Circle at scheduled times to get me to and from the campus and my apartment.

However, in the four years I have been at Buffalo State the Cleveland Circle bus stop has never had a proper location to let students escape the blistering wind or even heavy rain.

Well, I’ll catch myself in that statement because it is not entirely accurate. The Cleveland Hall foyer is unlocked and available to students to use as a place to sit and get out of the cold, BUT they lock up the building and essentially vacate anyone still inside promptly at 6 p.m. every evening.

I’ve witnessed countless students being asked to leave the building and go back into the cold by the custodial workers, becoming confused and irritated at the request but begrudgingly leaving the building without much fuss.

It is a frustrating experience for sure, I would know from my own share of times trying to avoid being noticed by faculty just to stay warm for a bit longer on especially windy nights, though the reasoning the custodial workers have is very understandable.

The simple fact of the matter is that the custodians have been told to make sure the foyer is empty and locked at 6 p.m. so that they can begin to clean the floors.

One evening in the fall of 2021 right after being told to exit the building by the custodian he came outside and began to tell me about how badly he felt having to kick students out every night to start cleaning. He actually had come up with an amazing and simple solution to the problem as well.

He said he’d been working for Buffalo State as a custodian for around 20 years and had been asking the school to allow students to stay in the small entrance corridor before the foyer of Cleveland Hall for years at that point.

I told him I would love to write a story about this for The Record and asked for his information to keep in touch, but at that very moment my shuttle was pulling away and I had to go chase it down in order to get home that night.

I went back to Cleveland Hall every evening to try and run into him again, even asked around the building if anyone knew the name of the custodian that usually worked in the building and I got nothing. Regardless, his idea makes so much sense I felt compelled to bring attention to it.

The entrance to Cleveland Hall has two sets of doors that help control the temperature regulation in the building by not letting so much air in or out every time someone opens the door.

This small space is also locked and vacated at 6 p.m., though the custodian’s idea is to simply allow the first set of doors to remain unlocked later into the night and keep the main doors into the foyer locked so that the floor cleaning is not disrupted.

This solves nearly every problem for those waiting for their shuttles and for the workers in Cleveland Hall simultaneously without costing the school a dime.

I am unsure why the school has supposedly been against the idea for so long according to the custodian I spoke to last year, but I’m willing to bet that if enough of the student body requests this simple change, then the school’s opinion on the idea would likely sway.

To make this change happen, as small-scale as it is, I figured the best way to get the attention of the administration was to create a petition for the issue.

We aren’t asking much of the school but a simple show of student support for the change would go a long way in an eventual conversation with the school about making it happen. You can check out the petition and share it here.