Trustees approve housing, meal plan rate increase

Video courtesy of University Communications

Riley Guerzini, News Editor

The university Board of Trustees approved an increase to the cost of housing and meal plans at its meeting Thursday morning.

Per semester apartment rates will increase $69 for two bedroom apartments with two people living in a bedroom and a $122 increase for two bedroom apartments with one person living in a bedroom. For one bedroom apartments, rates will increase $83 for two people per bedroom and $154 for one person per bedroom.

Rates for one and two bedroom residence halls will increase $69.

Students living in housing will also receive $50 in Munch Money for the approved rates.

“We are always looking at the costs of our housing and the costs we have in terms of maintaining that housing,” university President Linda Bennett said. “We’ve been on a pretty aggressive schedule for renovating segments of that housing so I think we are always taking a look at both what our cost demands are as well as the services that students in housing are asking for.”

There were interior construction upgrades to five student housing apartments over the summer, as well as a new fire alarm that was installed in the O’Daniel North apartments.

Bennett said the university is also looking at how its housing costs compare to other campuses.

Rates for residence halls at USI are $2,284 per semester compared to $3,205 for similar residence halls at the University of Evansville and $3,370 for similar residence halls at Indiana State University for the 2017-2018 academic year.

“We are always weighing those things in terms of what are the kinds of things students want, can we afford to do those and if we can, how do we manage that, because housing is its own business operation,” she said.

Meal plan rates will increase $63 per semester for the next academic year. The increase will apply to the Red, White and Blue meal plans.

The increases will allow for “normal increases in food and labor costs” according to the meeting’s agenda.

The Board also approved construction of phase II of the PAC. The over $27 million project will include newly renovated spaces for faculty and staff and a swimming and diving pool that will be located to the north of the Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center.