Why do Waterloo student residences suck?


Why do Waterloo residences suck?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have a place to live on campus. 

But with the amount I pay, why do I live in a room that looks like a Clark County Jail cell in Vancouver? 

UW students pay about $6,000 to $8,000 per year for a residence room. 

That’s excluding the mandatory meal plan for three of the seven residences that costs between $2,400 to $2,800 per term. 

In some of these residences, making your own food is not an option, as we have no access to a kitchen. 

This makes those late-night hunger pangs especially hard to quell. 

Some of our fees go towards “capital improvement and resident program enhancement”. 

But if, theoretically, you live at Ron Eydt Village (REV, pronounced Ron “aight” Village) and your meal court closes at 8 p.m., you’re stuck with Village 1 hamburgers and fries. 

Where is our money going? 

Where are the healthy late-night meal options? 

And speaking of the food, I love our chefs and their dedication to us, however the menu is not an everyday meal for most of us. 

The aim is to make our food interesting, but we would prefer less interesting and more familiar. We resort to the sandwich bar instead. 

Then, there’s the breakfast bar. Us first years have jokes for days about our breakfast bars. 

You can receive a meal worthy of a 20 minute food coma or go to the same breakfast bar and be handed a snack. You can never guess what you’re going to get, because you aren’t allowed to serve yourself. 

The gag is, it all costs the same, the meal and the snack, because you pay per item. That’s another funny thing, our hotdogs are paid by weight, but our scrambled eggs are paid by item (as in, one serving equals one item). 

Can we also talk about room styles? Rooms in Mackenzie King Village are nicely furnished and genuinely attractive, but residents pay less on the whole because the ir meal plan is not mandatory, and students have a kitchen and their own rooms. 

You walk a little further down to REV and the rooms are cramped spaces holding two people. 

The room walls are composed of brick and mortar, painted over with a color closer to yellow than off white. 

There’s no kitchen, and you’ll be lucky to get a nice view. Ask me and Mel, my roommate. 

We stare at garbage trucks all day. And yet we pay more, because our meal plans are mandatory.

After all that complaining though, I must say I am grateful for the environment. I’ve met incredible people on residence, and have lived experiences I just wouldn’t have had I not been here (4 a.m. Campus Pizza runs, anyone?). 

So, all in all, it sucks, but it’s worth it. 

Even if the most scenic my window view gets is Bob in his draws taking out garbage at 8 a.m.


  1. Well they have built several new residences in the last 10 years including MKV which is probably where a lot of the money goes.

    REV and V1 are both from the 50s but I agree the walls could use drywall and better heating systems.

    As far as the meal plan I cannot argue that it’s a scam but I’ve seen UofTs and it’s much worse than either V1 ir the Rev cafeteria.

    Its optional. The good comes with the bad.


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