Volume 93, Issue 10

Wednesday, September 15, 1999


Western Prof asks for rights probe

Saugeen yet to find USC representation

Student dies in early morning tragedy

Dean looks to restructuring funding of Mustang sports

Guelph students left out in cold

Two new businesses infiltrate UCC

News Briefs

Buzz Mecca

Caught on campus

Guelph students left out in cold

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

Housing problems at the University of Guelph have left some students living in tents, while others are staying in their professors houses and the university administration has been wondering why.

"The problem is both on and off campus," said Josh Shook, local affairs commissioner of the Central Student Association at Guelph. "With the influx of students, it's getting much worse."

Shook said Guelph increased enrollment last year by 400 students, which is one reason why housing has become more scarce.

While only a few students remain in the tents set up by the CSA, Shook said most of the homeless are staying in the residences of various university staff and faculty members, until they can find some kind of permanent housing.

Shook added the university and the community need to pull together and provide more housing in the near future. "Our university accounts for over 10 per cent of the population in this city," he said. "Next year will definitely be worse."

However, Shook said he was pleased Guelph was expecting to open a new residence in 2001, which will house 500 students.

Kyle Patton, CSA spokesperson and organizer of Tent City, the name given to the tents on campus, said students need the tents for temporary accommodations although administration objected to the idea. "It was set out primarily as a service for students," he said.

Darlene Frampton, director of communications and public affairs at Guelph, said the lack of student housing seems to be more of an off-campus problem.

She added students should not be facing as much difficulty when looking for housing as they say they are. "Sure, there's a bit of a crunch, but there's space available."

With respect to students sleeping on their professor's couches, Frampton said she has heard of no such thing.

"We have heard of faculty saying, 'sure we have a room,'" she said, but added that Guelph's staff and administration only offered rooms for rent because having students living in tents gave the university a bad name.

Paul Kraehling, member of Guelph's planning and development department, said the most up-to-date vacancy rate for Guelph's 100,000 person city is 1.6 per cent. He added London's is 4.5 per cent. "We would like to see what's in our official plan – a three per cent vacancy rate," Kraehling said of Guelph.

Kraehling added although there was some availability, much of it was not suitable to meet student needs. "There's a lot of other limiting factors which restrict the supply," he said.

The conditions as well as the proximity of the accommodations were two main factors as to why students were having such difficulty finding a place to live. Kraehling added the most likely option would be to rent a room in a house with a family, or with other students with whom they did not know.

Susan Grindrod, senior director of housing and ancillary services at Western, said there is not the same scarcity in student housing for Western students. "We've been able to accommodate all first-year students who were admissible," she said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999