MRU Students waitlisted for housing at Residence
By Mikaela Delos Santos, Publishing Editor
Mount Royal University (MRU) students who wish to apply for housing on campus this year are likely to be put on a waitlist.
MRU Residence, Mount Royal’s in-campus housing, has a total of 950 beds campus-wide from East Residence, West Residence Apartments, and West Townhouses. As of writing, at least 80 students are on the Residence waitlist.
One of them, Airdrie resident Cassie Morey, says that the whole experience has been frustrating.
“There were no issues with the application process like [a waitlist] last year. This year, however, I was really surprised because I didn’t get [any] contact from Mount Royal to say, ‘hey, our residence is filling up’ or like a heads up.”
Morey, who has lived at Residence for the past three years, has been familiar with the application process. Although for Morey, the waitlist was not the cause of her frustration.
“I do understand that I did apply August 1st, so it was a little later. And once the email came through, I called immediately to ask just my position so I can get a better idea and try and plan around it if possible.”
After applying and paying the total amount of $460 for application fees and housing deposit, Residence has provided her with different information regarding her spot on the waitlist after contacting them various times.
“So basically the person [I spoke to first] told me I was 22nd, but [it] was just the number by my name. It wasn’t in numerical order. And then they also said the [second] person that quoted me 28 was wrong. And I was actually 35th. And they said, ‘you have been 35th for the past week as no changes have been made.’” Morey details.
“For two Resident Services representatives to quote me wrong on two occasions. It’s hard. It’s hard to truly believe, you know like, to say ‘oh you’re this now, you’re this but now you’re actually this.’”
Without any guarantees for a spot, Morey says that having a Plan B makes it hard with the current housing crisis.
“It’s been difficult [looking for places] so we’ve given up. We’ve kind of given up on that. I said ‘okay like I’ll do residence’ and here we are but my Plan C, I guess is I live up in Airdrie. So I will be living with my parents.”
Director of Residence Services, Mark Keller, says that this year’s circumstances for in-campus housing are unprecedented.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of students who are looking to live in residence for this fall… There’s not a lot of spaces available, and the spaces that are available [in Calgary] are more expensive than they have been in the past, and so I think more students are looking for Residence as an alternative to maybe what their plans were for living off campus.”
Keller adds that Residence has not had a waitlist since West Residence was built in 2003.
“In a typical year, we would see students leaving between fall and winter term. We do have some students who apply for housing for just the fall term. And we give them the opportunity to extend into winter if they choose.” explains Keller.
“We do generally see some percent of our on campus population move out in winter term. Given that this year is unprecedented for us in housing, I’m not sure if that number will remain.” adds Keller.
For students and residents like Morey who feel that this year’s process has been unorganized and frustrating, Keller says that Residence is doing the best they can.
“I understand their frustration… We’re hoping that we can get as many students as possible on the waitlist into residence as best we can. But as I said, it is important for students to have some backup plans in place if at all possible.”
“I recognize that that’s easy to say and not easy to do in the current climate, but we will get more information out soon and we are doing everything we can to move as many students off our waitlist.”
According to the MRU Residence Services website, those who are unable to get a spot for housing will have their deposit refunded in full.