I have a bone to pick with the University of Miami. Actually, more like three or four bones. The things I initially found enticing are quickly disappearing, leaving me wondering what I ever saw in it anyway. Let’s start with on-campus construction. There are at least three projects taking place at one time (and nothing important like the walkway across U.S. 1 they’ve been talking about for years that’s supposed to help us avoid those Frogger-like dashes across the highway). Each project closes sidewalks, blocks roads and, most importantly, takes up our precious $400/year parking spaces. What’s worse is that the construction seems to go on forever, with those projects tied closely to the students (like the University Village) taking the longest. Promised services still aren’t provided, making the “convenience” of the Village a joke among its tenants. Not to mention the high rents and headaches that come with each lease. But hey, at least we’ll soon have another multipurpose room, and there’s that new wing they’re adding to the Lowe that I’m sure we’ll all spend hours of our lives in.
The [briefly-proposed] housing policy would have added insult to injury. Juniors and especially seniors would have been forced to live in the shanties of the apartment area or cough up high prices for University Village. The apartment area, completed in 1948, has had few renovations, and judging by the malodorous vomit and beer stains from previous residents, the carpets might be that old as well. There was talk of closing the apartment area just a few semesters ago, yet students still live there. What happens during the next (dare I say it) hurricane? Hello Holiday Inn! The brand new accommodations in University Village are also more than questionable, with unleveled countertops and breaking-down appliances. And I’m still not quite sure why the leases are 12 months long when the semesters together only add up to about eight months.
So what actually happens to the $40,000 plus that each of us pays a year? Why does a book that I bought new online for $75 cost nearly $200 at the bookstore? Where have the billions of dollars that Shalala has raised for UM gone? Certainly not to athletics. We haven’t won a football game in who knows how long and now we don’t even have our own stadium. Tuition goes up. Parking costs go up. On campus living costs go up. But student benefits fall, which begs the question: What’s next? I swear, if we start having to pay for anything else I’ll have to declare bankruptcy and live in a box on the IM fields, which, if another brilliant housing policy goes into effect, may be where I end up living next year anyway.
Michelle Solove is a junior majoring in English and psychology and will have no marketable skills when she graduates. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.