For many students, living in residence is the highlight of their first year of university. Benefits include the convenience of living close to classes and campus services, the opportunity to make lasting friendships and to get involved in numerous activities designed specifically for them, together with the support offered by staff. There are also challenges, given the close proximity in which students live and the diversity of backgrounds and lifestyles that each resident brings to the community. Both the challenges and advantages of residence life make for an excellent transition from life at home to independence.
Residence Application Procedure
All correspondence from the residence office will be sent to the student in your family at the email address that they submitted to the Ontario Universities’ Application Service web site (OUAC). All residence offers have a strict deadline and students must respond to their email offer within the time indicated. If your student hasn’t heard from the residence five days after receiving an offer from the University of Toronto, you may want to remind them to check their email account, including the “junk mail” folder. If you or your student are unsure about the residence application procedure or the status of their residence offer, please encourage your student to call the office directly.
Residence fees, like tuition fees, are posted on your student’s online ACORN financial account.
The Residence Life Team
If the student in your family lives in one of U of T’s residences, you can be assured that they are surrounded by a fully-trained support staff team. Each residence has at least one full-time live-in professional staff member (usually a Dean of Students/Director of Residence, and/or Residence Life Coordinator) who deals immediately with any serious issues and concerns. The professional staff, in turn, train and supervise a team of upper-year and graduate students who live in the residence amongst the students and serve as dons or residence advisors (RAs).
Dons and residence advisors receive extensive training and are able to:
- identify students in difficulty and refer them to the appropriate office or service for help;
- help resolve disputes between residents;
- enforce community standards and codes of conduct; and
- offer programs and activities to build a strong sense of community within the residences.
If you sense that your student needs someone to talk to, please encourage them to speak to their Don or RA. If their concerns are serious, the Don/RA will take the appropriate steps to provide the support needed.