The Commuter Student Hostel at UBC provides the university’s commuter population with temporary accommodation, designed to help students avoid lengthy trips on the road.
Located in the East and South Towers of Walter Gage Residence, the Commuter Student Hostel consists of eight male and female rooms divided, where four rooms combine with a shared living room area to form a unit.
The cost for the Commuter Student Hostel is $35 per night. To reserve a room, students simply book online and then make their payment in credit card, debit card or cash. Availability fluctuates depending on the day and time of year.
Mike Cheung, Walter Gage residence life manager, said that on top of saving students the trouble of commuting when their schedules are busy, the Commuter Student Hostel also gives students the chance to better engage with the UBC community. The hostel is “available Sunday to Thursday, from mid-September to the end of April (except during the holiday break) and all week during exam periods,” according to UBC’s website.
“It’s an amazing resource at a very, very good rate for students. This will allow them to engage in extracurriculars and other social things, and really to get that community feel of UBC,” said Cheung.
Still, any student who uses the hostel is limited to a maximum of only two days’ stay per week. Cheung said that there is this policy in place because of the high demands among the student population, especially during midterm and final exam season.
“Ideally, we’d maximize the amount of people we allow to stay … but because there are so many students and we only have limited space, we don’t allow for a longer stay,” said Cheung.
Second-year computer science student Kevin Shi is among those who have used the Community Student Hostel in the past. During his first year, Shi stayed for one night at the hostel to prepare for upcoming exams. On typical school days, he takes transit from Richmond, where commuting times can range from 40 minutes to two hours for a one way trip.
Shi said that the room in the hostel was quite small, but given the Commuter Student Hostel’s function as a temporary accommodation, the amenities were sufficient.
“The room is really small. It didn’t have much, but I didn’t need much. I was only staying for one night,” said Shi.
The biggest problem for Shi during his stay at the hostel was the lack of Wi-Fi, as is the case with all residence spaces in Gage Residence.
“You have to bring your ethernet cable and if you want Wi-Fi, you have to bring your own router. I had to go up to a friend of mine who lived in Gage and borrow the ethernet cable from him,” said Shi.
Still, Cheung said that if students ever do require Wi-Fi, they have the option of moving into the commons area of the residence.
“As you walk out into the commonsblock, which is open 24/7, there is Wi-Fi and there’s a healthy amount of study space in here as well,” said Cheung.
Even with its limitations, Shi still recommends the Commuter Student Hostel to other commuters on campus.
“If you have a test and you commute a lot, then you just want to sleep, I’d recommend it,” said Shi.