woman sits at table in coffee shop with coffee in front of her

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By Karlie Mickanuik
Social Media Editor

MacEwan University Residence (Mac Rez), although convenient, is ultimately not an ideal living situation for NAIT students. NAIT students are not able to attend certain free events that are advertised in the residence building that MacEwan students can attend. There is also no sense of community or college culture within the building.

Amy Drysdale, a Radio and Television student at NAIT is currently living at Mac Rez. Drysdale says she was not able to attend a free concert that was advertised in the dorm building.

“It’s not really fair, I went there and they said I cannot come in because you are not a Macewan University student,” said Drysdale.

Layla Dart is a Journalism student at MacEwan University and is currently living at Mac Rez as well. Dart has also been living in the dorms for the last four years. She is now a Resident Assistant for one of the floors and explains that certain events that are advertised at Mac Rez are not tailored to NAIT students as MacEwan University hosts them.

“In terms of on-campus events, there’s a little bit of a disconnect. It’s unfortunate that we have things like Fall Fest and Winter Fest, which are super fun, but are not accessible to NAIT students,” said Dart.

Drysdale explains the posters did not say the event was exclusive to Macewan students. There are events that occur at Macewan residence that she has attended before without problems and believes it should say on the poster if non-Macewan students can attend or not.

Drysdale says she moved into residence to get to know people and expected her floor at Macewan to be filled with friends.

“You can ask my roommate, I never have anyone over,” said Drysdale.

Drysdale explains that because the dorms are set up more like apartments rather than typical dorm rooms it is easy for residents to keep to themselves and not reach out. Drysdale says it was unexpected that the students living on each floor of Mac Rez were not communicating or hanging out.

“You see your roommate all the time and it’s really great but, you don’t see anyone else,” said Drysdale.

Dorm life is an important part of college culture. This is where a student will spend most of their time outside of school. These are the people you study with, go to sporting events with, go to classes with – these people become your sense of family while you are away at school. For example, the University of Alberta has very small dorm rooms causing their entire floor to be an extension of the students room. This naturally creates options for students to talk to each other and build connections while Mac Rez has enough space in the dorms to easily keep to yourself.

Dart says she loves living at Mac Rez and the social life her floor has.

“I do see, on my floor at least, quite a few people in the lounges, quite a few groups going to events together, lots of friendships forming and lots of attendants to the events we put on,” said Dart.

I personally decided to join a residency as I believed that is where I would make the majority of my friends and spend my free time. I am not originally from Edmonton and would be leaving a majority of my old friends behind. After living in Mac Rez for six months I do not consider anyone there, other than my roommate, to be a friend. In all honesty, I would not know anyone’s name on my floor if the nametags on the doors were not there. The college culture a typical university has is non-existent within the dorms of MacEwan.

MacEwan does have a lot of social events that aim to create a sense of college culture within the building but ultimately fails. NAIT students have a harder time getting to these events as sometimes they are put on during the standard lunch break time. This works well for Macewan students who only need to come from their campus which is very close to the residence building but NAIT students do not have that luxury. NAIT students are able to attend events in the evenings but generally there are not a large group of students that attend. Meeting new people can be scary and I too am guilty of sitting in my room to avoid awkward confrontation.

The size of the dorm rooms themselves is not a fair situation. In my room my roommate has a full foot more of space than mine. Our entire kitchen is also smaller than other rooms. I measured the size of my room and the size of another student’s room and found that my entire room was almost two feet smaller than others.

I asked a few people at Mac Rez about this and heard that the rooms on one side of every floor are bigger than rooms on the other side. Having a smaller room is fine but, no matter the size of your room you still pay the same price per month for less space.

I regret my decision to live in MacEwan Rez. NAIT students do not have the same opportunities Macewan students living in dorms have. MacEwan may be close to NAIT, however the residence culture revolves around Mac students.

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