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December 15, 2023 | Meeting minutes

Residence Affairs Committee: Meeting Minutes

Friday December 8th 3pm-4pm
St. Lawrence Room, Third Floor, Chestnut Residence

Present: Delphine, Eliza, Erin, Jeff, Jessi, Lexi, Matthew, Onkar, Sangeeta, Shmily
Regrets: Andrea, Kevin, Olivia, Omina, Renee, Steve, Yanzhen, Zachary

Presentation on Student Survey

  • Annual survey available to Chestnut residents from November 3rd to November 26th
  • 279 students completed the survey
  • Shared highlighted data on student demographics, community at Chestnut and services at Chestnut (Building Operations, Food Services, Front Desk, Housekeeping, IT, Security) and the overall Chestnut student experience

Residence Life Updates

  • Jessi, Assistant Dean, Residence Life – Introduction
  • Community Wellness Coordinators
  • Hosting a Relaxation Station to assist students de-stress over exam period
  • Don applications now open under Opportunities on the Chestnut Residence website (deadline: January 7th, 2024)
  • Will announce winner of the survey with the don whose floor won ($150)
  • Discussion – What kind of wellness programs to be helpful in the residence?
  • Can be hard to get students out of their rooms as many are very committed to their studies and worried about taking a break

  • More opportunities for hands-on experience with creative expressions
  • Keep the activity structured, include prompts and ideas to guide through experience
  • Therapy dogs were a success
  • Offer an activity where you can take something home at the end (plant, water bottle, etc.)
  • Offer more passive programming
  • Walk out of elevator and there is a water stand encouraging students to remember to drink enough water
  • Write inspirational notes on post-its and post on residence doors
  • Take advantage of idle spaces where students are waiting anyways (lines for elevators, dining hall, etc.)
  • Memes are usually an easy way to capture attention
  • Overall positive reviews related to CWCs

Finance, Administration and Operations

  • Sangeeta, Manager, Finance, Administration and Operations – Introduction

Building Operations

  • Recent vandalism to the ice machine/water fountain has resulted in the item being out of service
  • Working to fix this weekend
  • May need to source new water station
  • Continuing to work with Coin-A-Matic following up on laundry issues
  • Working on cleaning PTAC units (will focus on this over the Winter Break)
  • Building Operations will continue to staff technicians throughout the Winter Break but the staff will not be available 24/7 every day/most days staff will be available 8am-8pm instead
  • Recent acquisition of a new tractor to be able to manage any snowfalls in the future
  • Request from dons for any facilities-related notes to pass along to students
  • Try to avoid putting things on or against PTAC (i.e. don’t use the unit to dry clothes or store items on top of it)

Food Services

  • Onkar, Assistant Director, Residence Dining – Introduction
  • Recently joined the Food Services team in a newly created position
  • Will be attending RAC meetings moving forward instead of Jeff
  • Questions regarding Food Survey results
  •  Results were already distributed to staff
  •  Jessi will share the summary page with Dons
  •  Winners have already been contacted
  • Since August 2022 Jeff has been looking into how we structure meal plans and how we provide services
  • Launched Fall 2023 with a declining balance model (same as 2022-23)
  • There has been challenges with this model
  • Food Services has received feedback that the model is not hitting the mark in terms of what students want
  • Will be working with a consultant who is very well-versed in post-secondary institutions environments
  • Procured their services to help do a meal plan review with a very focused scope: What is the best meal plan structure?
  • Looking at commuter meal plan as well
  • Established the core working group (Steve, Jeff, key stakeholders) who working directly with the consultants
  • Kick-off meeting for the core working group on December 15th
  • The full committee will consist of building stakeholders, dons, students (including commuter meal plan holders)
  •  Call-out for students who are interested in joining the committee to go out via social channels on December 13th
  •  Consultants will be leading this process
  • Could include surveys, focus groups or interviews as well as conversations with the committee
  • Goal to identify the median collective needs of students, while also taking into considerations the individual needs of students
  • Goal for recommendations to be operationalized for August/September 2024
  • Food Services is looking to implement some additional changes for Winter Semester
  • Less repetition, there will be a longer rotation of meal items
  •  More plant-based items, especially at lunch time
  • New menu items will be introduced
  • Continue incrementally changing to more “street-food” on the app
  • Will likely move to a pay per slice model for pizza (instead of pay per weight)
  • Already-introduced super saver programs will continue


  • There will be no Housekeeping services over the Winter Break
  • Request to dons to remind students to remove all garbage prior to leaving for Winter Break
  • Winter Break students will need to bring their garbage to 4th or 26th floor
  • Every other day there will be HK staff present for urgent calls over Winter Break
  • Students can log out a vacuum at Front Desk, if needed

Urban Crew

  • Urban Crew is closed December 7th to January 7th, re-opening on January 8th


  • No updates