B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
Simcoe Street in downtown Peterborough-Nogojiwanong. Photo by Rishabh Joshi.

Think Twice About the Housing Services Referendum

Written by
Nick Taylor
and
and
March 9, 2022

Editors' Note: This was originally published as a Twitter thread at @TrentArthur.

Think Twice About the Housing Services Referendum
Simcoe Street in downtown Peterborough-Nogojiwanong. Photo by Rishabh Joshi.

Trent Students! Trent University wants you to foot the bill for a new position in the Trent Housing department, one that will help students find housing amidst PTBO’s housing crisis – a crisis they helped create. We encourage students to vote NO to Trent’s off-campus housing referendum. 

We agree that this is a much-needed position that could do a lot of good in our community, but we disagree with Trent offloading the responsibility to fund this program onto students, who already pay exorbitant amounts for post-secondary education that should be free.

The university would have us believe they can't afford to fund this position themselves, but their housing projects bring in millions of dollars in revenue each year (see below – a screenshot from the March 2021 BoG meeting materials).


Trent Housing has claimed that if students don’t pass this referendum to implement this fee, they will not step up and fund the position themselves--but we’re calling bullshit! The university has already funded this position as a pilot project, and it's been well-utilized, assisting 230 students so far.

Why would they refuse to fund this program moving forward? The reality is that Trent would benefit from this program just as much as students would. Trent University needs students to find places to live so that they can attend the institution they pay thousands to attend.

If Trent really cared about the housing crisis, they’d have broken ground on a new residence years ago! If Trent cared about the housing crisis, they wouldn’t be planning a 17% enrolment increase in a city that has the lowest vacancy rate in the province.

To make matters worse, the university has said that part of this new staff person’s role would be to build relationships with landlords in town and make sure landlords know “our students are educated. They’re capable of paying rent. They bring culture into the community.” That is a direct quote from Nicole Sullivan with Trent Housing at the TCSA’s Meet the Candidates event on March 8th. 

This is blatant gentrification. This is classism. Asking landlords to prioritize students will only push long-term residents out.

Trent is dangling housing support in front of our faces and weaponizing a housing crisis that they’ve contributed to. Let’s not give in. Tomorrow, when your TCSA Spring Elections ballot arrives in your inbox, vote NO to Trent’s off-campus housing support referendum.

*This Letter from the Editors was originally published as a twitter thread on March 9th, 2022.

B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
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B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish

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