Stop raising housing costs

Jessie Hellmann

This past Thursday, the USI Board of Trustees approved a recommendation to increasing housing prices for two bedroom four person apartments from $2,015 to $2,070 a semester. Pay attention to those key words: per semester.

This means to live on campus for the 2014-2015 school year the average student, those without cars have no choice, will have to pay $4,140 for housing.

Since the school year runs about seven months, this totals $591 to live on campus per month. If I’m going to pay nearly $600 to live somewhere, it’s going to be a nice sky-rise apartment downtown, not in a cramped campus apartment where I have to live with someone sleeping over my head every night.

Mark Rozewski, vice president of finance and administration, said at the meeting the university isn’t just selling “shelter” it’s selling the environment and the college experience.

I lived on campus in the apartments for three years, and the only thing I experienced was having to pay $6 for a box of cereal at the C-store.

I’m assuming he is referring to the activities housing organizes for its students.

But, many of these events are ones that have absolutely no appeal to students. Sometimes, there is free food in the C-Store or a block party going on, but housing doesn’t do a very good job of spreading the word about events, either, so don’t count on going to those.

Also, I expect that if someone is going to pay $600 a month to live somewhere, they shouldn’t be kicked out over the holidays. That’s right, if you’re a freshman reading this, I have a nasty surprise for you.

Housing demands you leave campus for Christmas break, and you’ll be charged even more money if you’re caught staying. But don’t worry, if you would like, you can file a request to stay over break, you just have to pay for that, too.

Yes, you’d think the cost of staying on campus over break would be included in your $600 a month rent, but it isn’t.

Even if you’re an international student, and you have nowhere to go over the holidays, you’ll be forced to pay the fee.

Is this a proper way to treat students who are already paying a ridiculous amount to live on campus?

No, I do not think this is the kind of experience students are looking for.

To be fair, the university says raising housing costs is a way to renovate the apartments on campus, even though most of us will never see the benefits of these renovations. It will also provide a “small” pay increase to faculty and staff who have been starved from this for many years, for that you have my sympathy.

But maybe the university should look for other funding sources than student’s wallets, because we need money to live, too.