Dalhousie faces residence room shortage

written by Dalhousie Gazette Staff
September 24, 2010 1:00 pm

By Lynette MacLeod, News Contributor


Some Dalhousie students who thought they would have a room in residences will have to wait out some of the school year living in common areas.

A representative from the Dal residence and housing office, Heather Sutherland, says that there were 67 students at the start of the school year sleeping in common areas like residence lounges. This happened as a result of an overbooking of residence rooms. Residence halls and common areas in Howe Hall and four other residences were affected. Some of these commons rooms are still being used to house the overflow.

Emily Stewart, a fourth-year student and residence assistant, says the lack of space is creating some problems in the residences. She says that because the lounges and other common spaces have been converted into sleeping areas, students have to find another place to get together.

“We are having a problem with people drinking in the hallways,” says Stewart.

Dalhousie had the same issue with lack of space last year. Stewart said roughly 150 students were without a room and it took until about the end of first semester to completely resolve the problem.

According to Stewart, the number of students without rooms this year is much smaller than last year because new spaces opened up in O’Brien Hall. Also, Dal is also no longer providing housing for nearby Nova Scotia College of Art and Design students.

First-year Dal student, Makayla Tosh, is one of the lucky ones to have a room.  But like some of her fellow students, she says if she didn’t get a space she would just have to “put up with it until I had a spot.”

The Dalhousie website says: “Living in residence is one of the best ways to become part of the Dalhousie community. That’s why we guarantee rooms will be available for any new Dalhousie undergraduate student who wants to live on campus, and completes the residence application process by August 1st.”

Sutherland says no undergraduate student who applied before the Aug. 1 deadline is without a room.

Students who are misplaced do not have to pay residence fees until they are given a permanent room, but they do still have to pay for the meal plan.

By the time the second week of classes began, there were less than 40 students staying in common areas. Sutherland says they expect to have the issue resolved and everyone to their own room by Thanksgiving.

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