Student Housing: A line-up of issues

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter to inform you and the rest of the student body of the major issues surrounding Residence re-application this year.

There are two main issues regarding the Residence reapplication process. These two issues are quite substantial and have led to myself, as well as a number of other students, failing to obtain Residence. The first issue is regarding the taking of names of individuals who stood in line. Individuals began lining up at 12 a.m. in order to be the first to select their rooms. At approximately 2 a.m., Student Housing and Residence Life (SHRL) began to take down the names of these students. These students were guaranteed that they would be called in the order which their names were taken. Only students in line at that time were to receive these numbers. The rest of the student body was not told about this.  Although this seems like a good idea, there are two major problems. First of all, individuals who decided to wait in line for 12 hours should have to remain in line for the entire 12 hours. They should not be afforded the luxury of being able to return at a later time and be guaranteed the same spot. Secondly, in all likelihood, these students informed their peers that names were being taken down. In turn, these peers came down to the OPH lobby in order to have their names written down, so as to not have to wait in line later on. Meanwhile, those students who did not receive this information were left in the dark, only to find out at noon the next day that all of the numbers had been given out and that all of the Residence placements have been filled.

The second issue is regarding roommate selection. Although I dont see anything wrong with a group of students living together in one house, I do see an issue in how these students applied to do so. A group of roommates only required one of their group members to write down the groups name on a list, and then all of the group members were able to apply once their names were called. This seems inappropriate. All roommates should be required to be in attendance when their names are taken. Otherwise, you are rewarding unmotivated students just because they have one motivated student in their group. Just because one member of the group had the initiative to stand outside Colman Commons at midnight (or, as mentioned in the previous circumstance, had a friend who did so), doesnt make them any more deserving of a placement on Residence than any other student who followed the instructions and went to Colman Commons at noon the next day.

I am not writing this simply because I did not obtain a placement on Residence. Had I have gone to Colman Commons at noon and seen that 1200 people were lined up since midnight, I would have felt that I did not get a placement in residence for a just reason. However, in light of the two aforementioned circumstances, I feel that I and many other students were not given an equal opportunity to obtain a placement on Residence. Being a third-year Forensic Psychology Specialist who lives over an hour and a half away, I feel that it is in the Universitys interest to reconsider the Residence re-application process.

I am writing this letter for a number of reasons. Firstly, I want the student body at UTM to be aware of the issues that surround the Residences on their campus. Also, I want other students who are in a similar situation to realize that they are not alone, and that they are not at fault. Finally, and most importantly, I am writing this in hopes that these issues will be rectified in the near future. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

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