Rez stinky, media crazy
By Ben Fine
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
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
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
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