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Acadia Camp -- a study of the Acadia Camp Residence at the University of British Columbia from September, 1945 to May, 1949 Thomasson, Augusta Margaret

Abstract

In 1945 the University of British Columbia set up a number of temporary residential areas for the students who flocked to the University at the close of the war. Acadia, the first of these, is particularly interesting because it housed both men and women residents, because it acquired some of the elements of a residential community, and because it was close to the main campus. Accordingly, an analytical study has been made of the first four years of its development. Three main sources of material were utilized: (l) Personal contacts with the students living at Acadia in various years, (2) The minutes of the Student Council meetings, (3) Questionnaires on the pros and cons of residential conditions, student activities, etc., filled in by 244 students (70 per cent of the total of 292 men and 88 women resident in 1948). The study describes the physical features and development of the area from the original army "camp"; the characteristics of the student residents; student participation in campus activities; the functioning of the Acadia Council, and administrative problems of a student residence as exemplified by this experiment. The indications are that (a) the physical facilities were severely limited, but accepted cheerfully by most residents; (b) a majority of student welcomed and benefitted from the community aspects of Acadia; (c) only minimum supervision is called for, and a good deal of self-government can be developed, but (d) it is important that lines of administrative responsibility be clearly drawn. The "cottage type" of student accommodation and non-segregation of men and women students, both gained heavy votes from the Acadia students, among the preferences suggested to them for a future permanent type of residence.

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