Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 4. 1962.
In recent years the Students Association has provided a list of available accommodation for students looking for accommodation. When the appointment of a Managing Secretary for the Student Union was being discussed it was suggested that this service might be one of his responsibilities. Soon after my arrival at the University, I agreed to take over the accommodation service for 1962.
The Students Association had a list of some 60 addresses of landlords prepared to take students. During the period November 1961 to the end of February 1962, this list was enlarged to 236 addresses (see Table 1 in appendix). Addresses were obtained by telephoning landlords who advertised in the newspapers and by advertising for accommodation on 5 nights and 3 mornings in the Wellington newspapers during the period January 26 to February 24.
Lists of addresses of available accommodation were issued to students together with a brief description of the accommodation, but no accommodation was inspected before it was included on these lists. Students were warned that the accommodation was not necessarily suitable for students and that they should inspect this accommodation before making final arrangements with the landlord. (An example of the lists is shown in the appendix). 158 students were supplied with these lists; 67 students wrote asking for help with accommodation and 91 students enquired at the Student Union for accommodation. In the case of three overseas students, accommodation was found for them so that they would have somewhere to live on arrival in New Zealand.
During February, approximately 200 addresses had vacancies, so that the number of vacancies exceeded the number of students enquiring for accommodation. However, since the addresses had not been inspected, it is not safe to assume that sufficient accommodation of an adequate standard and type is available for our students.
From the experience gained this year a further development of the services appears necessary. The addresses given to students should be inspected and graded according to suitability of the accommodation to the needs of University students. In finding accommodation for the three overseas students, a number of addresses were inspected and found to be either completely unsuitable or only suitable in view of the shortage of accommodation.
A study of the 236 addresses we have at the moment shows that shared rooms are much more common than single rooms (87 addresses are for single rooms or single rooms in a shared flat, whereas 149 addresses are for shared rooms see Table 3 of appendix). The basis for grading the accommodation should include some measure of the minimum size which could be considered large enough for a shared room, together with minimum requirements for furniture in rooms where students are living and studying.
Table 2 in the appendix shows the number of addresses offering full board or bed and breakfast. With the Student Union Dining Room open during term time till 6.30 p.m., full board is no longer necessary for a student who is looking for accommodation and who does not wish to cook his own meals.
I. H. Boyd,Managing Secretary, Student Union.