Housing cancellation policy changed

PAYING DUES: Stiffer penalties will be enforced on students who choose to move off-campus after May 31.  BILLY GERDTS // HURRICANE STAFF

It’s almost time for students to sign up for housing, and the University of Miami has new procedures which will impact their decisions.

The biggest change involves the housing cancellation policy. While previously students had until July 31 to cancel a reservation, students now must decide whether to forfeit their $250 deposit by May 31. If a student decides to leave on-campus housing after the deadline, they lose the deposit and must pay the next semester’s rent if a suitable student cannot be found, instead of the $300 penalty students had to pay in the past.

While there have been waitlists on housing for years, administrators don’t recommend students counting on that fact next year.

“They would be rolling the dice,” said Patricia A. Whitely, the vice president for Student Affairs. “And we have no guarantee that there would be another student.”

According to the associate director of Residence Halls, Jon Baldessari, there will be an appeals process for students who are faced with emergencies, as there has been in the past.

Another change will be the addition of two freshman-only floors to each of the four towers, bringing the total from 16 to 24 out of the 48 total floors. Stanford and Hecht Residential Colleges are already 90 percent freshman residents, but this will allow the university to better plan out housing allotments. Freshmen will also inhabit the single-occupancy rooms on the freshman-only floors.

Eighty additional spots will also become available in the University Village, as graduate students will no longer be permitted in the UV. The department of Housing has been in contact with graduate school dean Terri A. Scandura and the Graduate Student Association to help displaced students find off-campus housing. The move will allow more housing for juniors and seniors, keeping with the school’s long-term goal of increasing the number of on-campus undergraduate residents.

“Our goal is to help as many students as possible live on-campus,” Baldessari said.

The final major change involves Special Interest Housing. According to Baldessari, two additional opportunities for SIH floors will be available, raising the total to seven.

The cost of housing is expected to rise 4.5 percent across campus, except for the UV, where the price will rise five percent. This amount keeps pace with increases of years past, according to Whitely.

To find out more about student housing, visit www.miami.edu/housing.