In February, the UCA Board of Trustees approved a 2.5 percent housing rate increase for students living in both residence halls and apartments.
Vice President of Finance and Administration Diane Newton explained to a Log Cabin Democrat reporter that the increase was necessary in order to build a reserve fund for housing renovations. The university, she said, was pouring all allotted money back into the facilities each semester.
However, there are still some complaints that a few apartments are mid-renovation and offer fewer academic features than residential housing, even though the students are paying more. There should be more to show for all the money that’s been poured into the apartments.
With the cost of UCA apartments, the least the university could do is make sure the quality is top-notch and offer the same amenities that dorms do. If off-campus apartments can do it, then UCA should be able to manage something better.
There have been some recent renovations to apartment buildings and many students believe the quality is better, and at least there is something to show for the price increase.
If UCA wants to make all its apartments better for students, then there needs to be some obvious changes in living conditions. For the amount students are paying, which is either equal to or more than off-campus apartments of similar or better quality, they deserve an on-par apartment.
Dorm rooms offer WiFi without having to purchase a modem or router, while apartments only provide a modem. Some Bear Village residents have complained that there aren’t enough desks for both people occupying a room, whereas dorms always have a desk per person.
Our staff has heard complaints that some Bear Village apartments still have the same, worn-out furniture and a few even have concrete floors without new carpeting. Yet, a Bear Village resident pays $1,998 per semester, about $532.80 per month, to share a bedroom with another person. Sacrificing comfort and personal space as one would in a dorm should at least offer the same, if not better, living quality.
That is a lot of money to be paying in comparison to off-campus apartments that offer the same amenities when you move in, but better living situations.
There aren’t many places that are fully-furnished with free WiFi like UCA apartments, but they are significantly cheaper per month. However, some do offer the same features.
Let’s use The Edge at Donaghey apartments as a comparison.
These apartments offer fully furnished student living facilities that are close to campus, closer than Bear Village, but with more perks for a similar price. To rent a bedroom at The Edge, which is all yours, in a four-bedroom apartment costs $499 per month, and $599 per month in a two-bedroom apartment.
The Edge is new, the amenities are high quality and the WiFi is free. Not to mention it’s gated and has a pool. While students still pay a water and electricity bill at The Edge, the amount is comparable to paying $532.80 for a Bear Village apartment. Except you have to share the room with someone else and aren’t guaranteed similar quality furnishings.
Yes, students don’t have to live in university apartments.
They could choose to live in a nicer place like The Edge. However, it is unfair to cut corners on living quality for students who don’t have the option to live off-campus because of scholarship requirements.
image via www.edgeatdonaghey.com