My Ghettohouse:Home is where your friends are

The residents of The Oasis have lived there for three years.
The residents of The Oasis have lived there for three years.
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Nickname: The Oasis

What: A six-bedroom house

Where: Alfred and Brock

How much: Rent varies on room size, but it’s around $406/month, plus utilities.

Who: Dave Albertyn, ArtSci ’06, Pete Fujarczuk, ArtSci ’06, Andrew Mannik, Comm ’06, Mike McGouran, ArtSci ’06, Tanya Shabotynsky, ArtSci ’06 and Martin Vaz-Jones, ArtSci ’06.

Favourite thing about the house: “The people,” Fujarczuk said. “And not just the people that live here, but all the people who share in The Oasis experience with us.”

They also all like the open concept living/dining room and the close proximity to Victoria Park.

Least favourite thing about the house: “The basement and the huge utility bills,” Mannik said.

“And getting robbed,” Fujarczuk added, describing how Vaz-Jones had his laptop stolen from his room one morning last year, even as other members of the house were home sleeping.

“Also, the mould in the bathroom is pretty bad,” Fujarczuk said. “Our landlord just paints over it. He painted it over in time to show the house, but it’s already coming through again.”

What’s the story? They all lived on the same residence floor in first year and aside from Fujarczuk, all have lived together since second year. He moved in last year.

The nickname was established in residence by a fellow floormate who saw McGouran’s and Vaz-Jones’ double-economy room as somewhat of sanctuary.

“In first year, Martin and I had a room together,” McGouran said. “And down the hall was a bunch of rooms that you didn’t really want to go to—you know, people who keep their doors closed all the time and things like that—so [our room] was like the oasis of that region of the floor.”

Over the course of the last three years, The Oasis has become known for throwing great house parties, as evidenced by the Facebook group, “The Oasis throws the best parties,” which boasts 17 members and 11 groupies.

Themed parties thrown by the Oasis have included Pirates of the Keggerbean, the elephant kegger (a night of elephant jokes), both an ’80s and a ’90s kegger and a surprise birthday kegger for Mannik. They’ve also hosted two charity keggers—one for tsunami relief and the other for WaterCan—which raised over $600. They’re currently organizing a formal kegger-gala as a classy way to close out their university careers and celebrate their time at The Oasis.

While every party has been a great time for the attendees, they haven’t been without their mishaps, Fujarczuk said.

“After living here for three years and patching so many holes, each one of us is pretty good with makeshift masonry,” he said.

Memorable moments: Fujarczuk recalled an encounter with a resident squirrel he’s nicknamed Jeffrey Dahmer.

“I was asleep upstairs and I had these cupcakes out on the balcony, with all the windows open, because it was August, and I felt this scampering on my legs,” he said. “So I open my eyes and there’s Jeffrey Dahmer just sitting on my chest with a fuckin’ cupcake in his mouth. So I freak out, and he jumps like six feet out the window. It was awesome.”

It’s somewhat hard to believe a house of six people has remained together—with only one roster change—since the first day they started living together.

“It’s great living with people who are actually good friends, because you’re willing to cut people slack,” Fujarczuk said.

Shabotynsky—the lone female—appears to be the glue holding it all together. They all admit she’s the “mom” of the house, but there’s dispute over what that role entails.

“She likes to clean!” McGouran protested.

“No, no, no,” she clarifies. “I like things clean, I don’t like to clean.”

Despite the squabbles, there is definitely a comfortable rapport between all the housemates.

“We’ve basically lived together for four years,” Albertyn said. “So it’s not like things are always running smoothly, but you get to know how to deal with people.”

“You know when to back off if someone’s had a bad day or whatever,” Mannik added.

Fujarczuk summed it up: “There’s a familial sort of atmosphere here, which is really nice.”

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