Displaced students expose res-day student divide

We’ve been told over and over that there is no divide in our community between day students and residence students. It’s not true.

We’ve been told over and over that there is no divide in our community between day students and residence students.
It’s not true.
How can I tell? Residence students who have regrettably been moved to the Lord Nelson due to flooding are complaining they’re disconnected from their community because of a 20-minute walk.
Many day students have to commute for an hour or more in one direction, on buses that don’t always run after 7 p.m. or on the weekends or only come every hour after the end of rush hour.
This can make it extremely difficult to get anywhere, let alone to campus in a hurry to participate in one of our many impromptu events.
Bussing all the way from Dartmouth is a pain. The ride on the 10 or the 54 and the 1 is an hour and a half commute. Minimum. This is, of course, if connections meet up, which they often don’t. My commutes have been as long as three and a half hours.
I’m not alone. Second-year Luke Van Horne says it takes him 50 minutes each day to get in from Fall River, and that night events get difficult with the buses ending at 11 p.m.
First-year Madeline Higgins feels “very isolated from the campus.”
She gets up at 6:30 every morning to get to school from Tantallon for 8:30 a.m., and her last bus home leaves at 7:40 p.m.
For Laura Jones, in third year, the journey to school requires at least two buses and an hour, and she struggles with mandatory night classes, which often start after buses stop running regularly to Bedford.
And that’s when there are buses. Third-year Alex Walker said he was lucky when the buses went on his strike in his first year. His class schedule coincided pretty well with his mum’s work schedule. But if they went on strike now?
“I don’t know what I would do. … That wouldn’t work now.”
Commuting is a part of life for many of our students. It takes hours out of our days that could be spent studying or socializing. It makes it harder for us to integrate ourselves into the “all-inclusive” King’s community; so much so that many of us have far more local friends than we do friends who lived on residence.
I am no stranger to our campus. I spend more than eight hours there every day. But the only residence students I really managed to make friends with were those from my FYP tutorial, and even then only because I worked really hard to get us to meet outside of tutorial times.
The fact is, I have friends now who didn’t know I existed in our first year.
I feel horrible for students who have been moved into the Nelson. It’s not a very good welcome back present. But if they feel cut off from their community because of a 20-minute walk, I shudder to think of how our local students have felt since day one.

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

One reply on “Displaced students expose res-day student divide”

Well said Colleen. Hearing complaints of a 20 (more like 10 on the bus) commute to school when I have an hour-hour and a half bus ride from Sackville (and there is no bus from Lucasville, I have to make arrangements for a ride), is pretty sad. I almost never participate in school activities simply because of the long commute into the city and back home. The bus strike first year left me stranded for a week before I could make arrangements to get driven in my a friend’s mom, 2 hours before FYP lectures began.

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