Stephenson House Online

Located at 63 Charles St. West, Toronto, Ontario – Stephenson House was Victoria College at the University of Toronto's true student co-operative housing residence reflecting the will of Dr. Stephenson… now this blog will serve as an archive of memories of its last year (2009-2010) and for those house members to stay in touch with each other. SIYB! SHF!

Luci’s leaving, Craig’s flying

So all friends came out to say their last goodbyes. Themed ‘Oh Canada’, Stephenson House and friends celebrated Lucille and Craig’s last days in Toronto. Craig leaves on Thursday for Turkey, then Serbia and then grad school at King’s College! Lucille leaves today at 5:30am for Shanghai, then Taiwan then Beijing for grad school! Its all working out so well!

The Stephenson House family is growing up and entering life’s next stages: jobs, grad school, real life, faltering economy and a British airport stranded by a volcano in Iceland.

Arturo and Jorge gave us all salsa lessons.

The celebration was so good that speakers started smoking. People were like, ‘its the smell of the chips in the oven!’ (Liam made potato wedges with crazy dipping sauces) and Em was like, ‘No, its the smell of burning plastic and the speakers are going to explode!’  We disconnected it.

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Craig’s b-day, VUSAC power transfers and Luce’s Taiwan paper

Craigo celebrated his b-day officially as well as VUSAC handing over of power on April 14th at the Duke of York near campus. Friends and S. House fam came out for conversations, drinks, giant cake with barbies on it and good times. Akash officitally takes over VUSAC prez powers from Catherine.

Luci has become non-responsive from Karen’s rants in her attempt to tackle her last, non-school related but equally stressful essay about sustainable managment of natural resources and Asia’s rapid development. Her paper outline will be presented to the ambassador of Taiwan before she leaves for Shanghai, and her research will be presented in July at the global conference in Taiwan in which she will represent Canada!

Also, Sat is S. House’s last fam night event. Tue is Luce’s going-away party. Staying up from 8pm-6am, then boarding plan around 9am for Shanghai-bound. Craigo leaves for Turkey soon and Leo is going on a week-long camping trip.

The family is breaking apart and going their separate ways! *Tear* When you’re all successful, think of us small people…

The facebook event pictures of Craig’s b-day parties are hilarious!

Symphony

Sara sang in the Toronto Symphony today as part of the U of T choir joined by some very esteemed soloists and bands. She got us free tickets to go, Em, Luci, Karen, Leo, Andrew and David went.

It was pretty cool. Sara was in the first row, 4th from the left! Karen totally fell asleep. But the entire evening was a fantastic one! So many people, a great venue (Roy Thomson Hall) and so much talent. Classical music and choirs are so great to listen live…

Event info was: Helmuth Rilling, conductor with the University of Toronto MacMillan Sin. We sat in Section C3, Row G, Seat 6!

Craig’s b-day et house

celebrated today! Lots of friends, Vic and elsewhere, drinks, food, great music and dancing. Celebratin’ Craig’s pre-birthday, graduating undergrad (along with Lucille, they are the only 2 S. House members this year not coming back!), finishing his last essay, the life and death of Stephenson House and of course, friends.

We love you Craig. You know that. Without you, we might literally starve. And the house would burn down.

Admin’s proposal passes in defining Board of Regents meeting

The administration’s new proposal passed today’s Board of Regents vote by a margin of 1 vote, (15 for the administration’s new proposal and 14 against). Craig was only allowed to speak once while President Gooch , who was in favour of the proposal, answered all the questions. This was biased.

Members weren’t voting for “free rent” – they were voting for keeping Dr. Stephenson’s bequest and that included co-operative living, community service and financial accessibility that meant the house would collect self-sustaining rent from its members.

Hundreds of signatures gathered in support of Stephenson House, dozens of students turned up to rally in support of the House right before the meeting. 4 dozen cookies baked for the rally. Countless months of negotiations and counter-proposals by Craig with the administration and President Gooch.

All of it lost, all of Stephenson House lost by 1 vote. Never in a board meeting was the vote a secret ballot. This one was. People are angry and unhappy. The ‘new’ Stephenson House will not be what Dr. Stephenson imagined.

Save Stephenson House!

On Thursday, April 8, 2010, the Victoria University Board of Regents will vote on a proposal to fundamentally alter Stephenson House, a co-operative house for Vic students who have financial need and are involved in the community. The proposal will entail:

  • moving the community from 63 Charles St. West to the 12-person suite in the Rowell Jackman residence;
  • adding a meal plan, directly undercutting the cooperative meals which are at the heart of the community;
  • charging full residence fees with the possibility of financial assistance under the regular bursary system.

    Meanwhile, the current plan is for 63 Charles to remain vacant for the next academic year.

    If you want to help save Stephenson House, here are some steps you can take:

    • sign the petitions circulating around campus (or pick up a blank one and get others to sign!)
    • come to the Board of Regents meeting on Thursday, April 8 at 3:30pm in Old Vic to show your support
    • email craig.ruttan@utoronto.ca for more information or to join the campaign more actively.

    Stephenson House Forever!

    Summer Residency

    Interested in living in downtown Toronto this summer, for an affordable price? Apply to live in awesome Stephenson House for, potentially, its last moments at 63 Charles.

    Interested applicants should e-mail Craig Ruttan (craig.ruttan(at)utoronto.ca) with answers to the following questions:
    -Name, Email Address and Phone Number
    -Were you a full-time Vic student this past year?
    -Why do you want to live in Stephenson House?
    -What kind of community involvement work would you like to do over the summer?
    -What is your perspective on co-op living? What would you bring to such a community?
    -What would be your greatest weakness in a co-op environment?
    -Please give the contact information of one person (can be friend, family, housemate, coworker, etc.) who could tell us about you as a person and what you would be like to live with.

    Applications are due by Monday, March 27, 2010. You can either drop it off at the house (63 Charles St. W) or email it to craig.ruttan(at)utoronto.ca.

    Feel free to email if you have any questions too!