Get out by tommorrow

By Sara Hanson

No time to say goodbye– students living in residence will be forced out within 24 hours of their last exam again this year.

The 24 hour policy was first introduced two years ago to prevent students from celebrating the end of finals and ruining the quiet study time of students who have exams until the last day.

“This is a fairly common practice with residences across the country,” said residence services director Joel Lynn. “Our number one concern is that we protect the rights of those students who need to study until the last day.”

The hasty move out process presents obstacles for some students.

Kaitlyn Stangeland and Alissa Wilchynski, two first year students living in Kananaskis Hall, had planned to make the journey to their hometown of Swift Current, Sask. together but due to the policy this is no longer possible.

“Alissa’s last exam is on the 20th, but mine is on the 22nd so we can’t go home together because I can’t stay until she is done,” said Stangeland.

“It doesn’t make plans easy,” said Wilchynski. “I’ve had to work around it a lot to make things work.”

Lynn explained alternative policies are available for students whose plans conflict with the 24 hour rule.

“We are working with the Residence Students’ Association to be sure that we have a flexible policy in place that accommodates special needs,” said Lynn.

If a student’s travel plans are 500 km or further and they are not able to make the journey within 24 hours of their last exam, they can provide Residence Services with a written explanation. Lynn stressed that extension requests will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Lynn said a second alternative is available to those students who are flying home and have already purchased a ticket for a date they cannot change. These students can present a copy of their ticket for an exception to be made.

The RSA proposed an additional policy for students who are staying in Calgary over the summer but have a lease beginning on May 1. RSA president Emily Wyatt explained that students in the past have had a lease for the summer but nowhere to go once their exams finished. These students often resorted to bunking with friends who were still writing exams, defeating Residence Services’ goal of maintaining an academic environment.

Wyatt confirmed RSA has received a letter approving their suggestion so students who have a lease beginning on May 1 will be allowed to remain in residence. To qualify for the extension, these students must provide a signed copy of their lease and agree to the conditions outlined by Residence Services.

Despite these exceptions, students with a practicum are still concerned with the move-out process.

“I think it’s ridiculous because we pay per semester and the semester does not end until the end of April,” said first year nursing student Heather Lefebvre.

Lefebvre has a two-week practicum after her last exam, but was unaware that students could apply for an extension.

Lynn explained there is a special policy in place for nursing students who want to continue to live in rez during their practicum because it is an academic commitment. While they will be required to pay for the extra two weeks, they will continue to be charged the student rate rather than the more expensive summer conference rate.

RSA president-elect Allan Bailey agrees the policy adds extra stress for students.

“It’s extremely unfair and changes need to be made,” he said. “Ideally I would like to see a 48 hour move out policy, along with strict consequences for those who choose to violate the community standards.”

Residence students will receive a letter by the end of the week confirming the date of their last exam and outlining steps to request an extension.

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