York admin responds to concerned Founders students

Jacqueline Perlin
Assistant News Editor
York administration is still receiving an earful from the student community regarding the closure of Founders residence.
This prompted York to directly dampen students’ concerns via individually addressed letters, letters which contained new, previously undiscussed reasons for the residence closure.
“Students have been sending out letters to administration over the past week, indicating their opposition to the residence closure,” explained Robert Cerjanec, president of Founders student council.
Nearly 100 students sent emails to the administration voicing their disappointment over the residence closure, and York administration sent each student a response.
The letters – sent from Richard Francki, assistant vice-president campus services and business operations; Gary Brewer, vice-president finance and administration; and Rob Tiffin, vice-president students – outlined the financial reasoning behind the closure of the residence, and noted the decision wasn’t solely based in revenue loss but also due to the waste of custodial, administrative and energy resources it represented.
The letter also stipulated there has been “careful consideration, analysis and consultation with staff, faculty and students of the university” with regards to the closure.
Cerjanec said he was not consulted about the pending closure.
“I’m the president of the college, and I have not had any consultation about a possible residence closure […] so I’m not really sure where this consultation has been coming from.”
Cerjanec also added that the letter refers to the Scion interim report – which evaluates housing at York and has yet to be released – and notes it endorses closing residences with low vacancies.
“That was the only communication which was delivered when I had a meeting [with York administration] in February,” he said. “I find it very troubling that only now extra information has shown up which was not communicated [to us] before, and wasn’t a factor in the initial decision to close the residence.”
He stressed how important the loss would be to the Founders community, and that it would have a huge impact on the students.
“I’m very disheartened by that letter because all it does is focus on the financial aspect of it,” said Cerjanec. “But a university is more than just a financial aspect. It’s about a community.”
He said that students are still urging the administration to reconsider the closure, and that several open forums, including the one to be held Feb. 9 evening in the Founders Senior Common Room, have taken place to discuss the future of the residence and community.

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