Discovering Your Home Away From Home

An update on the Capilano University dorms just off Dollarton 

Jayde Atchison // Staff Writer 

The state of the housing market in the Greater Vancouver Area is only getting worse. It is no secret that the market is outrageous, and especially for students, the prices are even more unrealistic. Luckily, in 2017 Capilano University opened the doors to their first housing opportunity, which gave Capilano students a place to call home for the duration of the school year. As the new school year dawns on students, it is important to feature the facilities that three-hundred people call home. Located close to campus on Dollarton Highway, the CapU Residence is the ideal place to first experience leaving your family home without draining your bank account.  

If you are a new or returning student at Capilano, the idea of making new friends can be intimidating. Even though it is a small university, interacting with different groups of people in every class can become overwhelming. Thus, living in residency offers a unique experience where students are able to engage with other students on a daily basis. According to Residence Life Facilitator John Umunna, “Residence is a community of people, so you don’t have to look to create a group of friends, it is already there.” When you come into residency at the beginning of the year, it is an equal playing field despite how nerve-wracking it is to be roommates with over two-hundred people. For students, it is crucial to remember that the person next door may be having the same fear. Introducing yourself to new people can open the door to your next lifelong friend.  

The Capilano Residence offers transportation options to get to and from the main North Vancouver campus. If you are living at the residency or you want to pay your friend a visit after class, it is easy to do so through public transit. Directly outside the residency, there is an accessible bus stop that takes students to Phibbs Exchange, which is a twenty minute journey. Alternatively, by car it is a six minute drive. And, additionally, if students don’t own a car, the Evo cars are parked in the home zone of residency. Umunna suggests that students carpool using Evo, with one person driving on the way up to school and another driving back after classes. For those who feel athletically inclined, it is also possible to bike or walk to class, which makes for a scenic fifteen minute bike ride and a forty-five minute walk.  

Living with hundreds of strangers can make students feel unsure of who to reach out to in times of need. The Residence Advisors on each floor are available for students around the clock to offer support, regardless of the hour. No problem is too small as the advisors cover it all, from study tips to crisis intervention. It is important to both the RAs and the university for students to have the best experience.  

Since residency opened, there have been several updates. The dining hall has extended its hours until 10pm to allow students longer study time on campus and more access to food. If students desire to join a club or group, Resident Advisors have expressed interest in creating clubs based on people’s requests. For example, a community garden will be open for student involvement in the fall semester. While the heating and showers are important upgrades, the pool, ping pong, and foosball tables added to the dining hall have added excitement and fun to the residences.  

Capilano University is one of the smaller post-secondary schools in the province, which has its benefits inside and outside of the classroom. Compared to other universities, the response time at CapU residency is faster due to the smaller team that lives on site. What may take until the next business day at a bigger university can be addressed immediately at Capilano. With Umunna living on site, he is available to support students and staff at all hours of the day. The Residence Advisors host events once a month, both residence-wide and floor specific. These events include ice cream nights, movie nights, educational activities, and culturally significant sessions like drum making taught by First Nations leaders. To create lasting memories and connections with fellow residents, it is recommended for students to attend as many of these events as they can.  

It may seem daunting, yet the application process for residence is accessible and available at the Capilano University Residence page. Do not worry if you did not make the first round of admissions. A waitlist is available that continuously goes through acceptances. However, always check your Capilano University email for updates on your application. If you have remaining questions, more information can be found here

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