Bylaws and Policies

Political Policy Residence

Expires: April 30, 2023

1 Facts

  1. Residents require livable spaces in compliance with the Province of Alberta’s Minimum Housing Standards.
  2. Residents pay for and expect the quality services and programming that come with the value-added experience of living in residence.
    1. According to the 2018 Residence Services Resident Student Satisfaction and Learning Survey data results[1]: Overall, only half of students living in residence are somewhat to very satisfied with the quality and variety of programming offered in residence.
  3. Residence Services is dedicated to fostering a safe and welcoming environment with a culture of respect, equity, and growth[2].
  4. Residence Services should follow clear deadlines with respect to inspections and notice of entry.
  5. Residents need to be able to schedule around maintenance staff entering their units and have the opportunity to be present during move-in, interim, and move-out inspections.
  6. Residents, student leaders and employees should feel that they have some control of their environment through consultation according to the Student Participation Protocol.
    1. Residence Associations should be equipped with the tools and resources necessary to advocate effectively to Residence Services and Ancillary Services
  7. Residence Associations are Student Representative Associations and should have the opportunity to make decisions on behalf of and provide programs and services for their constituents.
  8. Residence Associations require office space, living space, the ability to communicate with their constituents, and clear guidelines as to their jurisdiction.
  9. Residence Association finances require transparent and efficient fee collection, financial regulation and administration, and support in order to function.
  10. Shared residence on University properties are exempt from the Residential Tenancies Act.
    1. Residence Services needs to be consistent and transparent with all landlord-tenant matters and consistently apply the principles and practices of natural and restorative justice.
  11. According to the 2018 Residence Services Resident Student Satisfaction and Learning Survey data results: Year over year, residents self-report considerable to great levels of stress, loneliness, homesickness, isolation, depression, and overwhelming anxiety.
    1. Non-cisgender students report significantly higher levels of homesickness, loneliness, anxiety, and depression and significantly lower levels of acceptance compared to their cisgender peers.
    2. International students in residence report significantly lower levels than domestic students in feeling that someone in residence cares about their well-being.
    3. International students in residence report significantly lower levels of acceptance for their cultural identity than domestic students.
  12. As of 2018, Residence Services is raising rent costs by up to 5% annually for 3 years, with any additional increases needing to be approved by the Board of Governors.
  13. As of 2018, Residence Services is raising the cost of the meal plan by up to CPI annually for 3 years, with any additional increases needing to be approved by the Board of Governors.
    1. Students in residence report the largest concern regarding the meal plan is the quality of the food offered.
    2. Students in residence have an overwhelmingly negative response to the value of the meal plan.
  14. As of 2019, Residence Services is conducting an occupancy management review and creating an occupancy management strategic plan.
    1. Several residences in East Campus are struggling with occupancy, with rates consistently around 70%, with some as low as 40%.
    2. To keep up with the costs of operating Residence Services, residences need to be operating at near full capacity.
  15. The Residence Education and Learning team currently staffs an Aboriginal Programmer that provides programming tailored to FNMI students in residence.

2 Resolutions

  1. The Students’ Union will advocate for accessible, affordable, clean, comfortable, and secure residences for students.
  2. The Students’ Union will advocate for quality residence services and programming that provide valuable learning outside of the classroom and align with the needs of the community.
  3. The Students’ Union will advocate that Residence Services continually work to foster residence community cultures with core principles of equity, inclusivity, respect, and growth.
  4. The Students’ Union will advocate that Residence Services provide residents with sufficient notice and detail regarding all maintenance requests and unit inspections, allowing residents to be present during the time of entry.
  5. The Students’ Union will advocate that Residence Services provide opportunities for stakeholder input in large and day-to-day decision making through consultation according to the Student Participation Protocol.
  6. The Students’ Union will advocate that Residence Services effectively involve the Students’ Union in the training of associated student leaders in residence and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to best fulfill their mandates.
  7. The Students’ Union will advocate for the fair treatment and support of Residence Associations, so that they can best fulfill their mandates.
  8. The Students’ Union will advocate that the residence fee schedule be consistent with respect to expenses and approved in a transparent manner.
  9. The Students’ Union will oppose rent cost increases above the agreed 5% unless increased funds are shown to directly benefit students living in residence.
  10. The Students’ Union will advocate for a predictable funding model for rent costs, reflective of the entirety of a resident’s time on campus.
  11. The Students’ Union will oppose meal plan cost increases above CPI unless increased funds are shown to directly benefit students living in residence.
  12. The Students’ Union will advocate that Residence Services provide quality and nutritious food to residents and increase the perceived value associated with the meal plan.
  13. The Students’ Union will advocate for increased mental health supports for students living in residence, with a focus on cultural mental health supports and intersectionality.
  14. The Students’ Union will advocate that Residence Services continually consult with residents and Residence Associations regarding the Occupancy Management Plan and prevent placing the burden of cost onto residents.
  15. The Students’ Union will advocate that the Aboriginal Programmer be an FNMI student and the programming offered is relevant and valuable to FNMI students in residence.
  16. The Students’ Union will advocate for clear timelines on deferred maintenance in residence.
  17. The Students’ Union will advocate that the Government of Alberta provide capital funds towards the development of additional student housing, only when such capital funds demonstrate a commitment to affordable housing.
  18. The Students’ Union will advocate that shared University residences be included under provincial regulation or legislation.
  1. Johnson, J. (2018). 2017-2018 Student Satisfaction & Learning Survey Overview. PowerPoint presentation at the Joint Residence Oversight Committee, SUB 2-275
  2. https://cloudfront.ualberta.ca/-/media/ualberta/office-of-the-provost-and-vice-president/vice-provost-and-dean-of-students/documents/reports/rltfreportfinal-march2017.pdf