By Julia Ho
When students applied for residency at Pitman Hall for the 2013–14 school year, they were promised a kitchen on each floor of the building. But the students of floor 11 have had only a dark, empty and blocked-off room where their kitchen should be since they moved in late August.
“We were supposed to get a new kitchen this year, two to three weeks into first semester,” said Kienan Osborne, a first-year business technology management student.
Permits from the city of Toronto were pushed back and kitchen construction could not begin immediately after the room was gutted.
Osborne and 14 other floor 11 residents signed a petition and sent it to student housing services before reading week. Along with the petition was a letter explaining the situation and a suggestion to speed up the building process or reimburse students.
Student housing services rejected the proposal for reimbursement because the situation fell under city jurisdiction.
“It’s sort of outside of our control,” said Jenny Owens, student housing residence marketing and assignments coordinator.
“We were renovating in the first place because [of an] experimental [program],” Ownes said. “Students were staying on the floor for 11 months — we were trying to improve the kitchen for them.”
The permit was finally approved by the city and construction resumed the week of March 3. It’s set to be completed May 1.
“It’s kind of put a burden on the floor to cook and make our own food. We have to go to other floors if we want to do so,” Osborne said. He added that his parents weren’t impressed when they found out about the missing kitchen.
“It would’ve been nice if there was some prior notice. It seems like they just don’t care,” said first-year biomedical sciences student, Bahoz Dara. Because students weren’t told their room numbers until they moved in, residents of floor 11 weren’t prepared for the lack of kitchen facilities.
“It’s costly, both paying for [a kitchen that doesn’t exist] and having to buy food [already] made,” said Jonathan Smith, first-year business management student.
Despite the fact that most current floor 11 residents will be moved out by the deadline, they’ll be paying the same amount as other residents who have been living with fully functioning kitchens.
“Everyone says you can use another floor’s kitchen,” Dara said. “But you shouldn’t need to.”