Many students living in residence will be required to leave their dorms for the winter break — from December 21 to January 5. Students living in the few residences on campus that allow students to stay during the break will be required to pay around $400. During the break, students planning on returning for the winter semester are permitted to leave all of their items in their dorm rooms, which will remain heated throughout the break. Those who elect to stay in residence will not have access to food or mail services, and often will have restricted porter’s office hours with few or no dons. Residents staying on campus during this time will also not be permitted to bring guests into their residence.



In light of this, the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) is offering an alternative. The union contacted local landlords to provide housing for students over the break. Rates range from $300–$400 for the period, and the host will provide two or three meals per day. “UTMSU is against unfair fees. We believe that students should not have to pay for their stay over the winter break, because they are already paying enough,” said Melissa Theodore, vice-president, external of the UTMSU. “With mandatory meal plans, residence fees increasing by 5 per cent, and tuition increasing by 3 per cent, students at UTM are facing a dire situation.”

University College, Trinity College, New College, and St. Michael’s College give students the option to stay on residence during the break. University College residents may pay $25 a day up to a total of $350 to stay during the break. St. Michael’s College also charges $25 a night, up to a total of $375 for the entire stay, with a limited custodial crew working.

Nikki Butler, the coordinator of residence services at New College, says that only the 45 Willcocks residence is open over the winter break, and that an extra $400 is charged to students at the beginning of the semester. As a result, around 75 per cent of students at 45 Wilcocks stay in residence during the break.

For students living on residence at other colleges who cannot find accommodations for the break, the university has released a housing form outlining nearby hostels and hotels ­— ranging from $25 to $150 a night.

Michelle Verbrugghe, a representative for student housing at the Scarborough campus, says that the average cost for winter break residence is $250. Students at UTM face a similar predicament, and have demanded answers from the administration as to the reason behind these extra fees. Nengi Adoki, an international student at UTM, wrote an open letter published in The Medium that outlined her stance towards the extra fees. “As an international student, I pay on average at least $30,000 a year, which includes tuition and housing,” she wrote. Although students have repeatedly expressed their concerns to the UTM administration regarding this issue, winter break residence fees will not be changing this year.