Due to student complaints, the university has decided to reopen 80 upperclassmen housing spots in the Property Management Apartments for the 2015-2016 school year. The decision, which was released by the Office of Residence Life and Services to the student body on Feb. 26, was influenced by the work of Undergraduate Student Body president Taylor Gladys and Residence Hall Association president Victoria Robinson.
Gladys and Robinson also worked together to show the Board of Trustees student concerns about the proposed housing rates increase, which eventually led to a delay of the vote on the issue.
Gladys presented to the Board of Trustees on Feb. 20, which the USG president does every year. Prior to her presentation, she and Robinson discussed student concerns about the closure of the PMAs, which were the cheapest upperclassman housing option, as well as the proposed rates increase.
They collected anecdotal evidence from upset students, and then presented it to vice president of Student Affairs Lou Stark and Provost Bud Baeslack. Together, they decided to postpone the Board of Trustees vote so that they could discuss the issue more.
“This was the first time in our RHA advisor’s knowledge that the Board of Trustees has delayed their vote, and I like to believe that that was because of student voice,” said Robinson.
Stark is creating a student task force to discuss student concerns over housing prices, the lottery process and financial aid. However, it is unlikely that rates will change for the 2015-2016 school year.
“I wish they had lowered the rates, but at the same time at least we got the message out there and it will change in the future,” said Gladys.