Sun icon

Stay at Chestnut this summer! Summer residence applications now open.

January 27, 2023 | Meeting minutes

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Residence Affairs Committee Meeting

Meeting Held on MS Teams from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM


Present: Dana, Andrea, Bailee, Kevin, Lexi, Matthew, Mustafa, Rubaina, Zahabiya, Renee
Regrets: Kenneth, Chef Eddy, Bhavisa, Namita


  • Presentation given today by Kevin Dancy (Dir. of Residence Operations), Chestnut Budget Review For Chestnut Residence Advisory Committee.
  • Budgeting at U of T is a yearlong cycle, planning, drafting, review and approval.
  • How it works for Chestnut
    • Chestnut is part of a group called Space & Experience (formerly Ancillary Services) made up of multiple business units: Residences (Chestnut, Knox, Grad House); Family Housing, Faculty Housing, Food & Bev Services, Campus Events, Transportation and Trademark LicensingChestnut
      • We are self-funded
        • Do not receive $ from UniversityResidence fees is our major revenue sourceOur revenue needs to cover all our operating costs
        We are student first, non-profit org
        • Use resources wisely, invest for long term, committed to providing exceptional and affordable servicesSurplus revenue goes into our reserves fund for upcoming projects
      Annual budget includes long range planningTimeline
      • Kick off in SepDetailed budget plan in DecRAC presentation in JanSARG presentation in Jan or Feb – we present our rates only, remainder of budget goes to another board (Business Board)University Affairs Board (UAB) in Mar – final approval, rates are set at this time and can no longer be changedBusiness Board in April
      Budget & Forecast Process
      • Our fiscal year is May 1-Apr 30Most planning done in Sep-DecWe propose rates in November
        • Test against our forecastDraft the final budget
        We outline revenue, expenses and our 5-year capital project plan (major maintenance)
      Previous year budgets were shown to the group, itemizing
      • RevenueSummer businessOthersLaundryCommercial rentals (the Call Centre)Interfund transfersOperating costsCapital expenses2020; 17.1M revenue / 17.2 M costs / $84K net loss2021; 6M revenue / 14M costs / $7.8M net loss2022: 17.4M revenue 15.4M costs / $622K net income2023 forecast; 18.9M revenue / 18.4M costs / $500K net incomeNotable events:
        • Pandemic started in 2020Early release of students March 2020Lower occupancy/lower residence revenue during 2020, 2021Garage renovation completed summer 2020Single room modifications 2021Flood incidents 2022Fire incident 2021Resumed higher/pre-pandemic occupancy 2022
      Summer Revenue: students who live here through the summer, long-term stays for visiting groups, short-term tourist stays
      • Residence operates somewhat as a hotel in the summer
      Breakdown of our costs
      • Mortgage $6M per year (will be paid in about 6 years from now)StaffingUtilitiesMaintenance and repairs
        • Furniture, equipmentCleaning, lighting, building suppliesLinen laundry and storageGrounds and wasteSecurityNight cleaningAnnual and periodic maintenance
        Other costs
        • Office and computer equipmentGeneral office suppliesGeneral servicesTelephone, courier, postageConsultantBank chargesCommissionsEtc.
        Our services/staff
        • SecurityFront DeskHousekeepingBuilding OperationsResidence LifeCatering & EventsKitchenIT servicesGeneral Admin
      Completed projects over recent years
      • FurnitureMattress replacementEquipmentCardio equipmentSecurity camerasSecurity serverMonitoring equipmentVoIP phonesTile installsCarpet installsCorridor finishesEtc.
      Ongoing projects
      • PTAC (in room heating and cooling)Generator, water treatment repairsStaff spaces (lunchroom)Student spaces (refurbishment to common spaces)Door lock system: it is at end of life (hard to find replacement parts now); planning to replace but only at early planning stages for thisMechanical work
        • Pipes, electrical, exhaust, Fire Life Safety systems – upgrades
        Some TBD jobs: repurpose room where pool is located, repurpose the mail room, more upgrades to student spaces (will be gathering input about what would be most needed)Postponed projects: more renos to the garage in need (structural work is done), concourse washrooms, staff locker rooms, in suite washroom renos, electrical upgrades, door lock system upgrade
      Forecast for this year 2022-2023
      • Budgeted 17.7M in revenue; we are now forecasting 18.9M in revenueBudgeted 17.8M in costs, we’re now forecasting 18.4M in costsBudgeted a net loss of $356K; now forecasting 466K net income
      Residence rates
      • 2023-2024 proposing 5% increase (same as last year)
        • In order to cover our expensesOUR RATES ARE DRAFT ONLY/CONFIDENTIAL AT THIS TIME, SO CANNOT INCLUDE WITHIN THE MINUTES.Rates should be finalized at SARG on Jan 27, and we should be able to advertise our rates to all in February 2023.
        Most residences are also doing 4.5-5% increases this year.
    • Questions or feedback from the group?
      • None.


  • Bailee’s last meeting today with us. She is leaving her position as Assistant Dean, Residence Life
    • In her place, we will be welcoming Zahabiya Chechatwala, one of our Residence Life Coordinators to sit on the Committee.


  • RAC Meeting #3, week of Feb 13
    • Will include results of Chestnut Residence Survey
    • RAC Meeting #4, week of Mar 20