SARS hits residence bookings

Jul 10, 2003, vol. 27, no. 6
By Diane Luckow



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The far-reaching severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has affected SFU's summer guest accommodations, causing a 30 per cent reduction in bookings.

Each summer, SFU rents out as many as 200 dormitory rooms and 55 townhouse residences to regional sports groups, English as a second language (ESL) camp groups, academic visitors and tourists.

Suzanne Nazareno, assistant director of guest accommodations for residence and housing, says ESL camp bookings have dropped off considerably this summer but she is working to increase international bookings in other areas.

For example, she notes, this summer will see an increase in international students with working visas. “These are students from Ireland, England, Scotland and the U.S. who are coming to Canada to work and travel for the summer,” says Nazareno. “In the past, we haven't had the space to offer such longterm visitors accommodation.”

Regional bookings are as popular as ever. Softball Canada's national women's team just wound up a stay on campus and 200 B.C. teachers will soon book in for two weeks, here to mark the grade 12 provincial exams and the foundation skills assessment exams.

Rental accommodations at SFU are affordable, with single rooms in McTaggart Cowan residence renting for just $20 a night for those who bring their own sleeping bags and pillow or $26 (single)/$45 (double) a night for full housekeeping service, which includes bed linens and housekeeping. Townhouses, which sleep four, rent for $130/night, including linens and housekeeping.

The annual $500,000 raised from summer guest accommodations goes into the residence and housing budget to help to defray the costs of residence life programs.

Guest accommodations also provides 25 fulltime housekeeping, front desk and supervisory jobs for SFU students over the summer.

With new residences slated for completion in September 2004, Nazareno is already looking ahead to build increased awareness of SFU's guest accommodations. The new residences will include 14 hotel rooms available all year as well as a full-service cafeteria.

“There's a real need during the academic year to offer accommodation to visitors on campus,” notes Nazareno. “We receive a lot of inquiries from faculty, the athletics department and human resources interviewees.”
Information: residences. For summer 2003 reservations, call 604-291-4503.

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