By Angee Johal
Imagine moving into residence only to find the smell of rotten food, stained carpets and whatever else was left behind by the last tenants. This scenario is one some students moving into on-campus housing have experienced.
“Our objective is to ensure students arrive to a clean room,” explained Director of Residence Services Joel Lynn. He said there were challenges Rez Services faces, such as conference groups in Rez during the summer.
“Students who need to stay throughout the summer don’t always move out on time,” said Lynn. “Some move out last minute, [which] makes it difficult for staff to clean, especially if students arrive early for next term.”
Residence Students’ Association President Emily Wyatt doesn’t think Rez Services is doing enough.
“Having a clean room is not a goal to work towards,” said Wyatt “It is an expectation.”
Having moved into a dirty Rez apartment herself, Wyatt knows what it feels like for students in this situation. She said her room was “gross and dirty” when she moved in at the beginning of summer. Wyatt waited two days before it was cleaned, but was still unsatisfied.
“How disgusted would you be in a hotel room, if it hadn’t been cleaned from the person before?” she asked.
Not only did Wyatt move into a dirty apartment, but when her roommate left, she was given a checklist of cleaning Rez Services requested. She said no one came in to check if she had fulfilled the requirements after her roommate left, nor before her new one arrived.’Students’ Union President Bryan West was not surprised. As a student who spent three years living in Rez, West agreed dirty rooms were unacceptable. He acknowledged the challenges described by Lynn.
“There’s so many expectations that Rez has of students,” said West. “Rez Services needs to live up to its side.”
West also questioned the claims by Rez Services that something is being done.
“There seems to be a disconnect between rhetoric and reality,” said West. “If students don’t see improvement, and Rez Services doesn’t live up to expectations, the SU will take appropriate action.”
Wyatt said the RSA has been active in voicing this concern, but keeps receiving the response that Rez Services is aware of the problem, and conditions will improve. She recommends that students keep up with complaints to Rez Services, and take it first to student representatives, followed by the RSA and finally the SU.
“The problems are acknowledged, but there is no action to improve the situation,” said Wyatt. Ultimately, she said it’s up to the RSA and students to put pressure on the issue. West agreed.
“The RSA and SU have a positive relationship,” he said. “If the RSA encounters roadblocks, we are ready to help. We’ll put pressure where pressure needs to be put.”
Lynn encouraged students to report any problems to the Rez Services desk.