Global Village still trying to meet goals

In January 2010, with construction finalized, Global Village and Hotel Alma officially opened their doors to students and visitors. One year later, initial goals of the facility have yet to be accomplished.

The University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business’ hotel and resort management program planned to partner with Hotel Alma to develop an experiential learning component. This has not yet happened.

“At this point, the hotel is not directly utilized for training our students,” said tourism program coordinator Vincent Tung.

Tung sees great value in partnering with Hotel Alma, but details on how to best utilize the facility are still being worked out

“It is still a go from our end,” said hotel operations associate director Ted Gaisford. “The largest part of the planning process comes from Haskayne. They are the ones who have to fit it into their curriculum.”

The Haskayne hotel and resort management program is working to provide a hands-on experience for students.

“One idea was to extend existing course material to encompass various tourism and hospitality components of the hotel,” said Tung. “This could include directed-learning experiences based on projects and case studies of the hotel so that students can learn from real-world examples and interact with industry experts.”

Global Village has 125 two-bedroom apartments. The goal of the program is to have an international and Canadian student live together.

Global Village has experienced success in integrating international and Canadian students in their Living Learning Communities program.

“The original goal of the program was to get every resident living with someone with a radically different viewpoint, culture and experience so they could learn from them,” said residence life coordinator Jason Bowers.

However, the program has not reached its goal to have an equal number of international and Canadian students living in residence.

“It is much more Canadian,” said Bowers. “It is going to fluctuate back and forth. Ideally in the next few years we will get it at that level.”

Last year, Global Village’s first, 60 per cent of residents were domestic students.

Second-year film studies student Evan Kirby likes living in the diverse, international community.

“You get to learn about the other person’s culture and meet their friends,” said Kirby. “It is a good idea.”

Global Village is also experiencing problems with frozen pipes, flooding twice since January.

“Every year we get them when the pipes fluctuate temperature when people leave their windows open,” said Bowers. “It is really unfortunate, but it happens every year.”

Eight students from Global Village were relocated to different rooms or buildings this year because of the floods.

“It seems though, that since this is a new building, that they would have somewhat better pipe systems,” said Kirby.

Bowers said he realizes repairs and displacements have been tough for those living in the buildings but is trying to make the transition as easy as possible.

“It was certainly an inconvenience at first when there was construction workers on my floor all the time making noise,” said Kirby.

Residence services does not reimburse tenants for damaged property.

“We do encourage students to purchase tenants’ insurance,” said Bowers. “It is up to them if they do.”

If a student is moved out of Global Village due to damages and into another residence building, a rate adjustment may be allowed.

“If we have someone who moved to another residence building and it is going to be two months then what we would do is to adjust the rate accordingly,” said Bowers. “It doesn’t make sense to pay the same amount for less amenities.”

Rates for an eight-month stay at Global Village are $6,480 for a two-bedroom. Norquay, Brewster and Castle residences cost $5,150 for the same space.

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