Student Consultation & Engagement


“Residence life at the University of Alberta is extremely important, and for students living in residence, it is a meaningful part of their overall post-secondary experience. Building an environment that is respectful, equitable, and fosters growth for students and employees is a collective responsibility of university administration, residents, student leaders, and residence employees.” —Residence Life Task Force

Residence Services engages with stakeholders from the university community and students across residences on topics that directly impact the student experience of living and learning on campus. Throughout the year, there are a number of topics being worked on in partnership between administration, student leadership, and students at large, in order to help Residence Services realize their mandate to provide a safe, supportive living environment that enhances student success and well-being.

How do we engage?

Residence Services engages with our community stakeholders in a wide variety of ways, including: surveys, focus groups, informal on-the-ground discussions with students at large, open houses, town halls, committee meetings, and more. In addition, resident students are represented by their respective residence associations on numerous policy and operational committees, including the Joint Residence Oversight Committee, Residence Budget Advisory Committee, and the Residence Advisory Committee.

Student Advisory Committees

The Students' Union is the official body that represents all undergraduate students and acts as a strong advocate for students at the university, and at all levels of government.

Residence Associations represent and provide services to all students living in their residence. This includes, but is not limited to: representing the students to Residence Services, the Students’ Union, and the Graduate Students’ Association, coordinating social events; and providing services as needed.

Council of Residence Associations (CORA) is a consultative body that includes executive members from every Residence Association. It exists to ensure that all Residence Associations are knowledgeable about prevailing issues, to prepare for upcoming meetings of the Residence Advisory Committee, and to offer an opportunity to collaborate efforts.

Residence Advisory Committee (RAC) is the senior resident and administration committee that ensures open and effective communication between student resident associations and senior administration in relation to issues which have a direct impact on the student experience, with the exception of budgeting and rent issues which are dealt with by the Residence Budget Advisory Committee.

Residence Budget Advisory Committee (RBAC) is the student and senior administrative committee that ensures open and effective communication between the students and senior administration, in relation to Residence Services budgeting process and those budgeting issues that have a direct impact on student rent.

Joint Residence Oversight Committee (JROC) is the committee that informs, involves and engages the university community on matters relating to residence operations and residence life.

University Governance

The University’s Board of Governors votes on all non-academic fees, which include residence rates, meal plan rates, parking rates, and more. Although much of the final decision-making flows through formal governance processes, feedback from the residence community plays a crucial role in the development of Residence Services plans. Proposals regarding the important consultation and engagement issues outlined below are put forward to the Board of Governors.

Student Participation Handbook

Formal consultation is guided by the Student Participation Handbook. In 2013, the University of Alberta entered into a facilitated process with the Students’ Union (SU) and the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) to seek consensus on the meaning and requirements of consultation — including the role, if any, of a mechanism to resolve disputes regarding consultation. Residence Services is committed to following the Student Participation Handbook regarding student consultation as it relates to engagement activities and the impact they have on students living on campus.

How can you participate?

If you are looking to join the consultation on the engagements below, please view the consultation tabs in the lists. There are also opportunities to engage with committees in residence and across campus—view more information at the bottom of the page!

Current student engagements

Set to open in Fall 2018, the fifth Lister Residence building will add an additional 400 students to the Lister community. In an effort to engage community members and university stakeholders in the naming of the new building, Ancillary Services has begun taking steps to formalize the naming of Lister 5.

On June 15, 2018 “Lister 5” was officially named Thelma Chalifoux Hall, in collaboration with students, alumni, First People's House, the Office of the University Architect, and the Students' Union. Thelma Chalifoux Hall was designed with community in mind from the very beginning. The layout of the building’s main floor includes common areas, a fitness centre, small study rooms, a large multipurpose room, a large “living room”, and a community demonstration kitchen. Chalifoux Hall is dorm-style housing that will be home to first-year UAlberta students, adding to the thriving Lister community.

  • Students’ Union
  • First People's House
  • Residence Services
  • University Governance
  • UAlberta community & Alumni
  • Edmontonians
  • Office of the University Architect
  • Graduate Students’ Association
  • Lister Residence cohort 2017/18

Consultation on the naming of Lister 5 has come to a close. See below for an overview of the consultation activities that took place, and stay tuned for an official naming announcement!

September 2017 - Consulted with the Office of the University Architect and the Community Relations department in the Office of University Relations regarding the process of choosing a name for the new building.

December 2017 - Formed the “Lister 5 Naming Engagement Working Group” made up of five student members of the Lister community.

December 2017 - January 2018 - Engaged with Lister students, the UAlberta community, and Edmontonians via an electronic survey to take name suggestions.

January 2018 - Consulted the working group regarding community values for the naming of the building.

February 2018 - Compiled the suggestions and brought them to the working group, which shortlisted eight recommended names.

February 2018 - Committee made up of members of residence, First People’s House, the Student’s Union, and the Office of the University Architect took student recommendations and chose a shortlist of two.

April 2018 - Began “Philanthropic or Honourific Naming Proposal” process with the Office of the University Architect, Office of the VP (University Relations)

May 2018 - Naming proposal submitted to Board of Governors.

June 2018 - The University of Alberta Board of Governors approved the official name of Lister 5 as Thelma Chalifoux Hall.

Want to know more about Lister 5 or the history of Lister Residence? Email

In 2017, the Office of the Dean of Students engaged the university community via an online survey to identify the needs of students who parent on campus at UAlberta. This engagement has sparked a campus-wide discussion with key stakeholders on the university’s position on providing support, including the provision of family housing options, to students who parent.

Since 1967, the University of Alberta has provided family housing as part of its residence system, primarily located on South Campus in Michener Park. Created at a time where graduate students were often raising young families, the facilities located at Michener Park provided a “suburban” residence option for students with families. Today, students who parent also have the opportunity to live on North Campus in Newton Place.

With this in mind, the university has started a consultation process to gain clarity around the housing needs of students who parent, and, to that end, a committee has been created with members from across campus, as well as elected representatives for the student body. So far, the committee has met in March and April 2018.

The Office of the Dean of Students has prepared a presentation to highlight some findings from earlier survey data. Visit this link to view the presentation.

Take the survey!

Share your voice on the online survey (live September 20–October 4), if you were unable to attend the consultation in person on September 20.

  • Students’ Union
  • UAlberta International
  • Residence Services
  • University Governance
  • Joint Residence Advisory Committee
  • Graduate Students’ Association
  • The Office of the Dean of Students

A "Housing for Students who Parent Committee" meets monthly regarding this important consultation. Keep an eye out here for a schedule of engagement activities and online surveys.

A public Open House took place on May 30 and September 20. If you were not able to attend on September 20, please take part in the online survey at this link (live from September 20–October 4).

This survey will take approximately twenty minutes and the goal of the questions is to better understand our students who parent. Having fully completed the survey, you will be entered in a draw for one of three Google Home speakers!

Since no formal information is collected about students who parent, this allows us a starting off point to build resources, better align goals and provide more appropriate support to the student body.

May 30, 2018 - A public Open House took place at Lister Centre, and the online version of the first of three surveys was open on June 1st for two weeks.

June 19, 2018 - A focus group was held in Lister Centre to further discuss the content collected in the online survey.

June 23, 2018 - A community meeting was held in Michener Park to accommodate the MP community. The content discussed was what was presented in the online survey and first public open house.

July 2018 - A summary report of the first round of student engagement and consultation.

September 2018 - A summary report of the second round of student engagement and consultation.

October 2018 - A summary report of the third round of student engagement and consultation.

January 2019 - The final report for the Housing for Students Who Parent Consultation, approved as of January 2019.

If you have any questions regarding the Housing for Students Who Parent consultation, please contact Aman Litt at

As part of the continuing effort to evaluate and improve the resident experience, the Residence Life Task Force was struck in April 2016. Within the final report released by the group in June 2017, they recommended that there be a “review of the provision of wireless services in University Residences with the goal of improving access and connectivity issues.”

A Request for Information is being prepared by Ancillary Services to engage third-party wireless service providers in this review process. The Residence Advisory Committee will assist Ancillary Services in engaging students in the consultation that follows.

  • Students’ Union
  • Residence Services
  • University Governance
  • Supply Management Services
  • Residence Advisory Committee
  • Joint Residence Advisory Committee
  • Residence Budget Advisory Committee

When the Request for Information closes, the Council of Residence Associations will assist in reviewing the submitted proposals. Check back for updates on further student engagements!

If you have any questions about connectivity in residence, please contact

The Lister Community Plan defines a strategy to transform the University of Alberta's Lister Centre into an environment that supports student success and retention in housing. Residence Services' goal is to help students shape their next selves by providing a range of living options and study spaces that positively influence the development of social and academic communities where new friendships with diverse, interesting people can occur. This goal is achieved through a combination of intentional programs within residence buildings and services provided in Lister Centre that are aimed at supporting holistic student success.

While there are a variety of amenity and social spaces within Lister, not all are arranged in such a way as to be intuitively or easily accessible for students. With the addition of a fifth residence in the fall of 2018, Lister's capacity will increase to over 2,200 students, allowing the university to enhance its ability to offer a first-year guarantee. Residence Services wants to seize the opportunity that the new first-year residence creates to re-evaluate how current spaces are used throughout the complex and reorganize or redesign them to be complementary to the new spaces.

In 2015, Residence Services began engaging with stakeholders on developing Lister Centre to be more student-centric and supportive of student success.

  • Students’ Union
  • Residence Services
  • Lister students
  • Residence Advisory Committee
  • HEWV Architects Inc.
  • Office of the University Architect

Consultation on the Lister Community Plan is ongoing; sign up here if you’d like to be informed of the next engagement event! See below for an overview of the consultation activities that have already concluded.

2015 - Lister Community Plan Steering Committee created.

January 2016 - Tour of renovated residences at the University of Michigan.

February 2016 - Visioning session for Steering Committee.

February 2016 - Steering Committee Tour of Lister Centre.

March 2016 - Space Utilization Program created (assessment of Lister Centre).

March 2016 - Interviews with key university participants, including students, professional and student staff, residence faculty members, university executive and administrative staff.

March 2016 - Student survey launched and assessed.

March 2017 - Lister Community Plan presentation (student and staff).

If you have any questions about the Lister Community Plan, please contact

Ancillary Services is embarking on a long-term plan to renew the Classic Lister Towers as well as the common areas in Lister Centre (see Lister Community Plan above). These spaces have been well used and well loved over the last 50+ years, but the time has come to update them!

Planning on this initiative has started, but it is important to note that Ancillary Services must work through the university’s governance process to gain approvals before moving beyond planning. There is no start date confirmed for construction, but Residence Services will not be assigning students to Mackenzie Hall for 2018-19 academic term.

There will be more details to come regarding the specifics around common spaces in Mackenzie Hall. Administration is engaging with students and other stakeholders to hear more about what we can do to preserve community and history, and to begin a path forward to renewing Lister for future generations of students.

  • Students’ Union
  • Residence Services
  • Lister students
  • Residence Advisory Committee
  • Office of the University Architect

Consultation on this issue will continue in Fall 2018. Check back here for updates!

If you have any questions about the Lister Tower Renewal, please contact

As part of a room and board program at the University of Alberta, students who live in certain residences on campus have a meal plan included in their residence fees. Lister Residence, located on North Campus, is home to almost 2,000 students who are primarily in their first year of study. The meal plan is included as a crucial part of ensuring that students receive well-rounded nutritious meals as they work through the often-challenging transition from high school into university. As a key piece of residence programming, the meal plan facilitates community-building and engagement opportunities and allows students to take a break from their studies to connect with peers.

In 2014, the University of Alberta began consulting residents and stakeholders regarding the meal plan offered to students living in Lister Residence, with the overarching goal of improving satisfaction with the meal plan in Lister Residence. The consultation began in response to low Dining Services satisfaction scores reported by students living in Lister Residence over a period of several years. The University of Alberta has concluded consultation on this issue.

  • Students’ Union
  • Residence Services
  • Residence Life
  • Lister students
  • Dining Services
  • Residence Advisory Committee
  • Lister Hall Food Ambassadors
  • Lister Hall Students’ Association
  • Residence Education & Leadership Office

Consultation on the Lister meal plan began in 2014 and concluded in 2018. The consultation included: annual satisfaction survey analysis, site visits to peer institutions with varying dining models, town hall sessions with student leaders and residents over a number of years, open houses, committee meetings, focus groups, evaluations of student feedback regarding their dining experience, and more.

View this infographic to see how student input impacted the Lister meal plan.

View the Lister Meal Plan Consultation Report for detailed information on this consultation process.

If you have any questions about this consultation process, or have feedback about your current meal program, please email

Current Dean of Students Committees and Collaborations

Visit this link to view a list of all current committees and collaborations that are dedicated to improving student life and well-being.