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The Housing Portal is planning to issue a formal apology at the end of the week. Image: Hailey Otten/Fulcrum
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Even non-living housing portals get stressed too

The University of Ottawa Housing Service portal has returned to service after reported outages and technical difficulties over the past week, following a ‘mental health leave’.

The portal, which is the primary means of proposing and accepting residence offers for students, claimed that it was ‘overwhelmed’ following the high demand expected from it when it opened last Monday for newly admitted students.

“They [the Housing Portal] have been overwhelmed at this time of the semester for years now, and they just reached a boiling point,” said Betty Rest, the U of O Housing Service Supervisor. 

Rest is very familiar with taking leaves of absence, with reports of her being more absent than present in her position. As a result, she is often late to receiving housing service requests and complaints, only resolving certain issues in June, much after students have moved out for the academic year.

As a result of additional pressure with the University’s hopes of having a large majority of their courses and activities in-person this incoming fall, the Housing Service portal reportedly shut itself down for around five days before coming back online on March 28. This was the reported cause of delays and technical difficulties.

Di Daniels, an incoming first-year French studies student, was one of several prospective students who did not appreciate the untimeliness of the Housing Portal’s decision.

“Who cares if they were stressed, they’re a website,” said Daniels. “I was up since 4 a.m. before school, just trying to see if I’d get a room in 90 University… now I’m scared I have to settle for LeBlanc.”

The Housing Portal is planning to issue a formal apology at the end of the week.