December 3 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 53  

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NEWS

Rez stinky, media crazy

By Ben Fine
Gazette Staff

Christmas is coming a little early for some special students at the University of Prince Edward Island. The presents: buckets, towels and unsolicited over-exaggerated media attention about a student dorm that was swept by, well, water from a leaky roof.

Students residing in Blanchard Hall at UPEI have been coping with the collection of copious amounts of water. Student Union President Brandon Mackenzie described the result of the leaky roof as a “noticeable odour which drives people from the building.”

According to PEI Environmental Health’s acting manager Joe Bradley, the decision to conduct an investigation was complaint-based.

“Student frustration led to [complaints],” Mackenzie said. “People were frustrated about not seeing the problem solved.”

The problem began after summer renovations on the residence left students a little damp, he noted. “The possibility of shoddy construction and heavy rain fall led to the emergence of the problem,” he said.

According to Mackenzie, the problem at UPEI is indicative of the government’s underfunding of educational institutions, a topic taken up during question period at the provincial legislature.

Marc Braithwaite, general manager of residences and conferences at UPEI insisted the story had become overblown. “A leaky roof in Blanchard Hall in PEI is big news?”

Braithwaite said the university had one recorded complaint and it was swiftly dealt with. “We have not had any complaints in the past three weeks about leaks.”

Frustration was evident within the tight-knit student community at UPEI. “It’s definitely not the place to bring your parents to,” quoted one anonymous student.

Braithwaite emphasized the dedication of the administration to the students and its sensitivity to the problem. The fact the leak occurred in the student dorm brought an extra sense of urgency to the situation. “[This is] not a leaky classroom; this is a leaky home,” he said.

Blanchard Hall is scheduled for complete renovation in 2005, Mackenzie noted. Meanwhile, it has yet to be seen whether the temporary measures introduced will suffice. Only spring will tell.

 

 

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