Harper Tubman’s stride to open its kitchen for all residents


Jabray Franklin

Brianna Taylor, Staff Writer

Jada Grant, the president of Harper Tubman’s Inter-Residence Hall Council (IRC) at Morgan State University, strolled past the in-house kitchen on the main floor of the residence when she realized only staff members could actually cook in it. 

Grant, a freshman computer science and math major, gathered her team in late December of 2018 to draft a petition for the student use of the kitchen. On Jan. 25, the petition was introduced to Harper residents during the 2019 spring semester floor meeting. 

Grant explained how the space, which includes; an oven, stovetop, fridge, microwave and counter space could be an option for students to eat on days during inclement weather and its potential for building moral. 

“Residence Advisors and Dormitory Assistances and IRC could throw programs about kitchen safety and how to cook well-balanced meals,” said Grant. 

President David Wilson shared his views on the petition from Harper residents and his support for the ongoing conversation.  

“I promote dialogue at Morgan, and I would hope that our students who are wanting to use the kitchen in the residence hall would first engage in dialogue with the Office of Residence Life and then with the Vice President of Student Affairs. So perhaps a petition would not be necessary,” said Wilson.

Wilson also stressed the importance of safety for use of the kitchen. 

“We have to look at issues of safety because it’s a very very important issue, power concerns that’s a very important concern and how students actually are allowed to do this on other campuses that would not jeopardize the safety of the other students in the resident’s hall.” 

Kiley Williams, informational science and systems major, explained that although she wouldn’t use the kitchen regularly, it would help her refrain from ordering food on the weekends and save her money. 

“It’s a problem for me to get to the Refrac [on the weekends.] I normally just eat out so that would probably be good if I could stop eating out every Saturday and Sunday,” said Williams.

With a whopping 213 signatures, which is more than 60 percent of the resident’s, Harper’s IRC is set to meet with Harper Tubman IRC Advisor, Justin Hall, on Wednesday to discuss the likelihood of opening the kitchen to students and the guidelines needed to ensure the safety and cleanness of the space. 

When asked about the schedule of the kitchen if approved, Grant was excited to explain the two potential schedules. 

“The kitchen would be operational from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. taking into account that the office of residence life closes at 5 p.m. We have two different schedule ideas. Monday through Saturday each floor gets their own day and Sunday it’s open to everyone and the other one is Monday through Saturday every floor gets their own day and Sunday it would be closed,” said Grant. 

Grant also expressed her excitement and positivity about the meeting set with Hall but wanted to remind residents that the meeting doesn’t equate to a definite yes, “There isn’t a final guarantee.”  

If the petition is approved by Hall, the kitchen is set to open for residents the first week of March.