Posted April 28, 2013
So the university is unhappy about the size of the Abode Varsity Living student housing project approved for Gordon Street and Stone Road and the safety of students walking across the road to attend school.
The college of knowledge accepts some 22,000 students a year but only provides 5,300 on-campus units of accommodation. University spokesman Chuck Cunningham grumped the school was disappointed in the final plans to be built at their “front door”. Which front door is that? The intersection of Gordon and College?
What was the real reason the university objected to the Abode project, during the four weeks of Ontario Municipal Board hearings? Why did the city side with the university, or was it the other way around?
As it turned out, both parties lost their case before the board.
Instead of pondering the “shadow” effect of the new student residence that will house up to 1,100 students, perhaps the university should explain why some 13,000- plus students are thrust into the community to find a home for the school year.
Mr. Cunningham said that on-campus students have campus security, residential assistance, on-site programming, entertainment and supervision. Okay, but what about the other off-campus students? Do they share the benefits of their on-campus colleagues?
Perhaps he should speak with the residents who have seen their neighbourhoods inundated with multi-student occupation of single family homes. The partying, uncivil behaviour and trash generated by these student homes is ignored by the university management. They say the Guelph housing market is “healthy”.
To further insult tour intelligence, the university abandoned a private partner on-campus student housing project, while spending money to stop a student housing project across the street.
The cost of the city’s legal and other expenses lies in the usual mystery category.
It’s time for the University to stop pussy-footing and work with the city to develop proper off-campus housing for the growing number of students. This involves an affordable, comprehensive plan to students living on and off campus.