Is it worth it? Evaluating the cost of SAIT Residence
Students strapped for cash should inform themselves to ensure the best bang for their buck in SAIT residence.
SAIT’s two residence buildings, East Hall and the newly renamed Begin Tower (formerly the Tower), conveniently allow students to live on campus within minutes of downtown. The C-train station is nearby, but with the amenities available in and around campus students rarely need to leave.
The luxury to roll out of bed and stumble to an early class seals the deal for most students.
“Everything’s so close, so it’s really convenient,” said first-year civil engineering student Arianna Castillo.
Originally from Vancouver, Castillo likes her four-bedroom unit on the third floor of East Hall. It allows her to use the stairs and avoid overburdened elevators.
“I wish I had more private space but it’s no big deal,” she said.
Students can choose from two or four-bedroom units, as well as a limited number of studio and one-bedroom units. All units are fully furnished, offer similar features, and include basic utilities, phone, cable and internet access.
Four-bedroom units are cheapest, which may be why they rank among the most popular options, along with studio units.
“People tend to like the space and social aspect of the four-bedroom unit,” said Brian Sellen, SAIT residence general manager. “On the other hand, some people like the privacy of the studio unit.”
Privacy comes at a price. For $4,492 students can live in a studio on the 22nd floor—a great view without the hassle of noisy overhead neighbours. Single-bedroom units are substantially larger and feature a full kitchen for those who want more space.
Two-bedroom units appear to be the least popular option. Overall, the 472 square-foot units offer the least amount of space per occupant and lack the benefits of a full kitchen and entertaining area. All other unit types feature 26-inch TVs but two-bedroom style apartments (except on the 22 floor) leave occupants to their own devices—perhaps because, besides the shared kitchenette area, a common living area is completely absent.
“The living space is really small for what you pay for,” said Megan Spooner, a first-year Graphics Communications and Print Technology student.
According to Spooner, she was drawn to her two-bedroom apartment in the Tower because it allowed for more privacy than a four-bedroom unit and was cheaper than the single occupancy option.
“I do need money for groceries,” she said.
On-site laundry is convenient but costly and often involves a queue of students according to Spooner. She also noted that the Begin Tower rooms are not at all soundproof—especially detrimental due to the ongoing construction of SAIT’s new Trades and Technology Complex next door.
“The noise is awful,” said Spooner. “Other than that, [residence] is pretty all right.”
Rooms are still available for the winter semester. Sellen advises students to apply early for studio units because they are in high demand.
Students can inquire at SAIT residence or call 403-284-8013.