MRU Residence welcomes Ukrainian evacuees

Nearly 100 people are now calling the MRU campus home

Haley JarmainMount Royal University | Posted: July 13, 2022

An aerial view of East Residence.

The East Residence townhouses provide four individual bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen and living room.

Dozens of Ukrainians who had to flee their country after Russia’s February invasion are now living on the Mount Royal campus.

They started arriving in June and will be staying at the East Residence townhouses until Aug. 15.

The townhouses provide four individual bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen and living room. Residence Services also supplied bedding along with kitchen kits to ensure those living on campus would have everything they need.

This all came about when one of MRU’s chaplains, who was working with an organization supporting people coming to Calgary from Ukraine, heard about the need for space. He called Residence Services.

“We were happy to help out. We had some space this summer so we said, ‘Sure, give us as many people as we can handle and we’ll keep them for as long as we can,’” says Mark Keller, director of Residence Services.

Individuals and families have been offered extremely low rates to stay over the summer. In addition, they have also been given free access to MRU Recreation facilities and the Riddell Library and Learning Centre.

“We want to make sure that we can support them as much as we can to take away some of the little stuff that they don’t have to worry about so they can focus on getting established here in Calgary.”

Keller says it is a heartbreaking situation but he’s glad the University is able to step up and help.

Oleksandr Mastiukh is from Kharkiv and is incredibly grateful to be at MRU for the summer, noting that he had otherwise been planning to live at a hostel.

“The personnel here are so helpful, it’s really nice to deal with them,” he says.

While he wishes the circumstances did not bring him here, Mastiukh says he loves the atmosphere in Calgary.

“After two months of hearing bombing and shelling, it’s really relaxing to be here.”