Rise in housing prices expected for next school year

Students can expect a raise in housing prices in addition to the recently announced surge in tuition for the next school year.

Craig Allen, director of Housing and Residence Life, announced two possible campus housing rates for the 2010-2011 school year during a Residence Hall Association meeting Wednesday. Allen said both options are financially sound and will be presented to the budget office Friday. Allen will consider recommendations from RHA and the budget office when making the final decision.

The first option Allen presented was an increase that varied between residence halls depending on room types and the number of rooms in each building. The median rent increase in the first option was about 2.18 percent. In this option, some halls would decrease in price. Members of RHA said they chose the first option to recommend because they want it to cost about the same to live in each hall. They said they thought the first option decreases the gap in prices and would allow a better chance of a lower rate.

The second option would increase each hall’s rent by 2.5 percent. This plan had a higher average increase for halls than the first option. However, some halls had a lower increase in this option than the first.

The RHA’s recommendation will be taken into consideration, but the final decision will be made by Allen and Brian Gutierrez, vice chancellor for finance and administration.

Allen said both proposed increases are less than last year’s rate increase, which was just under 3 percent. He said his office makes an effort to keep rate increases as low as possible. They look to other solutions, like budget cuts, to increase revenue.

Allen said Moncrief Hall would most likely be renovated this summer. The renovations would not be extensive and would mainly focus on heating and cooling systems, plumbing and fire detection. Colby Hall’s renovation will probably be postponed another year, Allen said.

RHA also planned new events and programs during last night’s meeting. Foster Hall received funds to begin a recycling awareness program. Residents will be able to sign up to receive a recycling bin in their room. There will be parties held to decorate the recycling bins. Foster Hall’s RHA delegates said they hoped having a personal recycling bin would encourage their residents to separate their trash from recyclables and become more informed about recycling.

RHA began planning its annual Hall-iday Fest, a holiday event in which residence halls sponsor booths with holiday activities. Students, faculty and staff are all invited to participate.