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19 March 2014

Housing should be guaranteed to all students

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The University of Miami attracts students from all over the globe, as well as from varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Although living on campus can be expensive – especially when you add in a mandatory meal plan – for some students, it may be the best option.

Every year, we have a lottery system in which students hope to be chosen for housing. This year, an email sent out by the Department of Housing and Residential Life said that 91 percent of students on campus were given housing, but nine percent would be waitlisted.

Something must be done to ensure that those who want and need to live on campus are able to do so.

To live within a reasonable distance of campus, rent can range from $1,000 to $1,600 per month, not including utilities, depending on living accommodations. Some students can afford to pay this, but others cannot.

Additionally, some students have scholarships that are specifically allotted for on-campus room and board. For those students who don’t get housing and cannot afford to live anywhere else, having to find affordable housing adds an unneeded source of stress.

This has led students to complain about the lack of on-campus housing. Each year, some freshmen move into the “upperclassman” dorms, and it’s not unusual to hear about students being temporarily housed in the Holiday Inn at the beginning of the year.

The obvious solution is to build more housing. However, it’s not that simple. In order to build new housing, extensive planning has to take place. As things stand now, something should be done to make sure that the students who need to live on campus, whether for financial reasons or otherwise, are able to do so for as many years as they need it.

Even if it means shrinking the size of the incoming freshman class, or changing the requirement that all freshmen live on campus, new measures must be put in place. Students have enough to worry about. Housing shouldn’t have to be one of them.

 

Taylor Duckett is a junior majoring in economics.