The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

Grad students’ residence opens

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Graduate House is the newest addition to the university’s residences.
Graduate House is the newest addition to the university’s residences.

On Nov. 20, the University of Saskatchewan officially opened its first graduate students-only residence.

Graduate House is located on 1593 Aird Street and is the last addition to the College Quarter residence project that has a total of five new residences — increasing occupancy by 1,000 students.

Graduate Students’ Association President Ehimai Ohiozebau said the new residence has been met with positive reviews from his peers.

“There was a need to have it dedicated to graduate students so they would have an opportunity to interact with their colleagues,” Ohiozebau said. “It is a beautiful structure and is well designed for graduate students.”

Graduate House offers students their the choice of roommate in the two-bedroom units. However, children are not allowed.

Ohiozebau said the fact that the new residence is not for families is not an issue for graduate students, especially since Souris Hall is already available to fulfill those needs and that cost is the actual problem.

“The idea behind this housing is more for single people or couples without kids. If there is an issue, it’s more of cost — the ability to get affordable accommodation,” he said.

Graduate students are not struggling to find themselves places to live in Saskatoon, the challenge is finding places that are affordable. Ohiozebau said he hopes the U of S recognizes that this is an issue graduate students face.

“I wouldn’t go that far and say [Graduate House] meets the affordability mark,” he said. “I hope that the university will consider the need to review the current rates … I hope the university would provide more residences that would be affordable.”

Ohiozebau was a member of a planning committee that consulted with graduate students while designing Graduate House. However, he said that he was not part of the committee that recommended the cost for each of the different apartment units.

The new residence has four different apartment models, each furnished with a kitchen with appliances and a microwave, a bathroom and large windows for natural lighting.

The bachelor unit incorporates compact shelving units and a sitting area, if desired, into the nearly 27 square-meter apartment. This unit is recommended for students who value privacy and economical living spaces. The single unit loft is a spacious apartment with an upstairs bedroom, leaving a larger living area on the main floor.

Two spacious bedrooms, each with a large window, are the defining features of the two bedroom unit. This loft-style apartment is the most spacious housing option at Graduate House with one of the bedrooms located upstairs for ensured privacy.

Three wheelchair accessible units are also available in two different floor plans for students with disabilities. There is a 26.8 square-meter single-bedroom unit as well as a two bedroom apartment — one bedroom is wheelchair accessible while the second is intended for the student’s assistant — that is 47.8 square meters.

Aside from apartment-style living quarters, the first floor will include retail space, a meeting room, a laundry room as well as student, study and TV lounges. The second floor of the residence has a classroom, a study room and a lounge for socializing.

The five-floor residence can house 262 students, with 120 graduate students having already moved in.

Construction began in June of 2011 and is expected to be completed by this December, costing the U of S $39 million.

Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor

  • Blah

    The Grad House is an awful place to live. Promises were made that
    were not fulfilled, and the building isn’t even finished yet which is
    why it is only half full. The residence was supposed to be finished
    Summer 2013, yet construction is still going on and many of the rooms in
    Grad House are not even ready yet. For example, students are paying for
    the ability to have TV in the common areas, yet there aren’t even TVs
    in there yet.

    The students were supposed to get double beds, yet here we are again
    with the singles even though the room is plenty big for a double.
    Whoever thought giving adults a single bed is absolute insane. The
    kitchen chairs do not fit the table properly, so you cannot even sit at
    the table unless you’re hunched over like a gorilla.

    The thermostat for each apartment is, for some reason, located in one
    of the bedrooms instead of being in the kitchen. One roommate, thus,
    has control of the temperature for the entire apartment.

    Don’t even get me started on the parking lot. There are too many
    residences around that area and they all share the same parking lot.
    College Quarter, Grad House, and the other 4 high rise buildings in
    McEwon Park are expected to all park in the U Lot. Some spots don’t even
    have plug ins for your vehicle for when it is cold. If you live in CQ
    or Grad House you end up having to park a mile away, which is completely
    fine in the summer. But when it is winter and you’re carrying in your
    groceries from that far away in the freezing cold – it is not okay.
    Clearly the people who have made these buildings have never had to do
    something like this, otherwise they would appreciate the fact that it is
    not as easy as they seem to think it is. Instead of building a stupid
    water fountain in the middle of the CQ buildings – BUILD A PARKING LOT.
    No one needs a fountain, but we do need some place to park.

    The residence office states that they asked students what they wanted
    in a residence and then built – clearly they didn’t because I doubt any
    student would suggest such stupid things. Either that, or the students
    were ignored.

    The residence office seems to be in quite the state of disarray.
    Emails are sent out that are not supposed to be, rent is “lost” and
    information is given out incorrectly. Also, many of the buildings, such
    as Seager Wheeler, are constantly infested with bed bugs. Instead of
    going through the hassle of calling in the exterminator once a week or
    more, perhaps the residence should be emptied in the summer so the
    building can get a thorough cleaning.

    Think twice before living in residence.

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