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F.A.T.S. Knows!

News | December 4th, 2006

Thwarting Thieves, and Other Housing Issues
The Housing Mediation Service, in the Student Success Centre (F2010), provides information to help students, landlords and neighbours who have issues around living in the London community. Here are some issues that students face when approaching December exams and holidays.

F.A.T.SProtect your home
Thieves are aware that students leave London after their exams and that students own stereos, laptops, TVs, etc. — all good items for the illicit resale market. Don't be a victim! Here are tips to keep criminals away while you're away:
- Ask a neighbour who's staying through the holiday break to park their car on your driveway.
- Have your driveway snow shoveled.
- Use automatic timers to turn lights, television, and radios on and off.
- Ask your neighbour or landlord to pick up your mail, newspapers, and flyers.
- Leave a radio playing, preferably on a talk station, set to a low volume.
- Hide valuable goods, or take them with you.

Protect your relationships
When you move in with friends, you assume things will naturally be OK. After awhile, annoying habits can lead to arguments and roommate problems. This escalates during exams when everybody is stressed. Common problems with roommates include cleanliness (or not), garbage, hogging amenities (TV, phone, etc.), theft, chores, pets, schedule conflicts, pranks, guests, noise, paying bills, and lifestyle choices.

Even small and unimportant issues, when ignored, may escalate. Keep in mind that fights usually arise from multi-faceted problems, such as: lack of sleep, exam stress, family or relationship problems, illness, homesickness, and a feeling of lacking control. Here are some solutions to ease tension and solve problems:

- Most important: sign a Roommate Accord! It's available outside the Student Success Centre (F2010).
- Create a cleaning schedule showing when and who is responsible for a specific task.
- Assign a utility bill to each roommate, so that no one person is responsible for all the bills.
- Create a joint bank account for the household, making it easier to combine funds.
- Lock up valuable items, such as laptops, jewelry, money, etc.
- Put your name on food items so there's no misunderstanding of who owns what.
- Wear headphones, turn down the bass, shut your door, or, play your music when your roommates are out.
- Be mindful of your roommates' schedules, and post schedules in a common area.

If the situation gets rough, roommate mediation is offered through the Housing Mediation Service in Room F2010.

Protect yourself
If you are facing actual physical violence, or threats of violence, mediation won't necessarily be the right option, although you may still call the Housing Mediation Service to talk about options. If you are facing threats or violence, or if you have faced them, you should consider calling:

London City Police:

Fanshawe College Police:
519-452-4404 (if it involves Fanshawe College students)

And tell your landlord! Under Tenant Protection laws, your landlord has an obligation to provide you with “reasonable enjoyment”. This includes actions from other tenants, neighbours, or a visitor to the property.

If the person who is threatening you or harming you is on the same lease as the one you signed, or is a visitor you invited, the landlord's obligation is somewhat reduced. Try to avoid situations that could put you in harm's way, such as:

- Don't openly invite people back to your place from the bar.
- Don't go to a party where you don't know the hosts or many of the people involved.
- Don't get so intoxicated you can't make good decisions in an unknown environment.

Do you have questions, or need more information? Come see us in the Housing Mediation Office, or talk to the helpful people in Counselling and Student Life. We're all in Room F2010, or, telephone 519.452.4282.

Important Dates

- Fee payments for the Winter 2007 term are due December 7.
- Classes end December 8.
- Exams are December 11 to December 15.
- Grades are available on WebAdvisor December 21.
- Fanshawe is closed December 25 to January 1. Have a safe and happy holiday!
- Classes start January 8.
- Last date to withdraw and not have to pay all your fees for Winter 2007: January 19.
- Last date to register, change from full-time to part-time or back again, drop or add courses, or get credit for external credits for Winter 2007: January 19.
- Payment plan due date is January 26. Check your up-to-date fee balance on WebAdvisor.
- Last date for the Fall 2006 term, to appeal fees, appeal a grade or other academic decision, or to submit an Application for Change of ‘F' Grade, is January 31.

Office of the Registrar
We're working for you.

This column is a Student Success Initiative sponsored by Counselling and Student Life Services, Financial Aid and the Office of the Registrar.
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