March 11, 2009

S.A. Passes Resolution to Alleviate Housing Concerns

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For upperclassmen angry about their suboptimal dorm situations resulting from last week’s housing lottery, the Student Assembly passed a resolution on Thursday that may alleviate some complaints.
Nikhil Kumar ’11, S.A. minority representative at-large, Sanjiv Tata ’09, president of the residential life committee, and Allen Miller ’11, executive vice president of the Interfraternity Council, recommended scaling undergraduate housing rates.
The resolution did not plan any specifics about how the scaling would operate. Kumar said that the S.A. will work with the campus life department to determine what the scales would be. He said some of the initial motivations for the proposal stemmed from the immediate discrepancies between the quality of the Gothics and the newer dorms on West Campus. He noted differences in the amenities between the two, such as the West Campus dorms’ dining halls and laundry facilities, as well as mentioning the difference in the overall quality of the rooms.
With the S.A.’s passage of the proposal, the bill sponsors will recommend that scaled undergraduate housing rates be incorporated in the housing master plan, according to Kumar.
“Calling for rate differentials in the future means that student representatives can work with Campus Life to develop a scale that makes sense for students and is implemented properly,” Kumar said.
However, Kumar noted that with the current economic climate and budget cuts affecting all operations of the University, the S.A. will not mandate “the immediate implementation of such a scale.”
While this proposal might scale back some of the complaints from students about their unfavorable outcomes in the housing process, Kumar recognized that the proposal is not a complete solution. Even if they pay less, students who are unhappy with their housing situations may still remain unsatisfied.
“We will use this as a starting point for taking a look at the housing lottery system overall,” Kumar said.