Some of you may remember Adam Rogers, an individual who made the campus and local news headlines more than once last year. For those of you who dont, Rogers was a prospective UTM student who moved into Residence on campus just after he received a letter of acceptance from the Residence administration. A few weeks after moving his family — Rogers was married with four kids — into the Schriberwood townhouse, he received a letter of rejection from the University Admissions Committee. Shortly after that, he was told to vacate Residence.
Having moved from another city, and with no place else to go, Rogers pleaded for more time for him and his family to stay so he could sort his living situation out. Residence granted him approximately a month, during which time he appealed — unsuccessfully — for admission into our University. When the time came, Rogers refused to move, and proceeded instead to sue the University administration on the grounds that he was being asked to vacate the premises prematurely, and then some.
I remember Rogers having a bit of a case in his lawsuit. You see, nowhere in his letter of admission from the Residence admin did it stipulate that he had to vacate the premises if he failed to obtain admission to the University. In fact, Rogers claimed that he assumed the letter from Residence meant that he already had received acceptance into UTMs. A poor assumption on his part no doubt, but one must wonder why and how Residence offered him housing before confirming his status as a student. Surely that wouldve saved everyone the hassle. A mix-up between two administrations, I remember reading from the report.
A crucial mix-up. I wonder if thats exactly what the Student Housing and Residence Life (SHRL) administration will say in response to the recent issues surrounding Residence re-application this year. I received a few phone calls late Saturday informing me of the massive line-up in and outside of Oscar Peterson Hall around midnight that same evening. Students living on Residence were queuing for hours into the next morning waiting to sign up for reapplication for housing. Apparently, the process was on a first-come-first served basis. Short of time to cover the story for this issue, I was delighted then to see Devon Sampsons letter (re: Student Housing: A Line-up of Issues) in my inbox Sunday afternoon.
Due to publication deadlines, The Medium has yet to investigate the matter insofar as contacting SHRL for further information or comment, but based on Mr. Sampsons letter and testimonies from several students living on Rez, its clear that something has gone terribly wrong here.
If the Residence administration already stipulated that reapplications would begin at noon on Sunday, why were they writing down names well before that? Start everything early simply to ease the process for themselves the next day? Though I merely speculate, Im sure thats their reasoning. On the flip side of the argument, the students who had their names recorded the night before will tell you that none of that made any difference — they wouldve still been the first ones to sign up at noon the next day had they stayed in the queue all through the night. Sure, but as cliché as it sounds, its the principle of the matter to stay true to the stipulated time is it not?
Right on the back of Residence fee increases, the administrators of Student Housing and Residence Life seem to be creating quite a stir of late between themselves and students. This time, it isnt so much the high-priced and limited food options at OPH under debate, but something a lot more significant. Where are students like Devon Sampson going to go now? Will they end up like Adam Rogers just because they showed up at the right time?
Perhaps theres an explanation for all this. Regardless, one can only hope that the people who run SHRL will take the appropriate measures toward dealing with the situation. And if they dont, I hope we, as a student body, whether living on Residence or not, proceed to do something about it.