Photo: Two residence hall buildings at MVC. There is a range of campus residence halls, with some being traditional “dorms” and some being newer apartments. (Photo by Ryan Canfield)
Story by Ryan Canfield
A plan by Missouri Valley College to charge more for residence hall rooms that are suddenly occupied by only one student was postponed, following some student complaints, until the fall semester.
On February 7, more than 80 students were sent emails and physical letters from the Housing department. The letter informed them that, if they were the sole occupant of a room previously meant for roommates, they must move in with another person in a different room, find an approved roommate to relocate to their room, or stay in their current room with a $500 fee attached.
This idea infuriated students who, with their roommates having moved out, found themselves in a predicament. In response, students banded together. They took their complaints to school officials who heard their plea.
Shelbe Hunsaker, an MVC junior who lives in Redman apartments, said, “Personally, if my roommate moves out, I shouldn’t be punished. They should be the one fined, not me.”
The original options were given to students from the Housing contract they all signed before moving into their rooms. According to the Housing Contract, Section C Housing Assignments, Points 3-5, the school has the right to move or reassign students to different facilities if necessary, as well as reserve the right to consolidate students without roommates into a different facility. Students can request a private room for a $500 fee per semester.
According to Brett Fuchs, director of housing & residence life, “This letter gave students five days to respond to three options. Failing to respond will result in the default of the $500 fee for a single room. People who responded were given a couple weeks to fulfill their choice with updates every so often.”
Fuchs, defending the policy, said, “This policy is very similar to ones set hundreds of other colleges around the country. The policy and $500 fee, for having your own living space, is fairly standard throughout the country.”
He said that the choice to enforce the policy on the massive scale was because of the increase of people with single rooms from just four to five from last semester to more than 80 this semester, and the equability of the housing department. With all these people being consolidated into less living space, the school could close an entire dorm, he said.
With pressure from students and faculty, the policy for this semester has been suspended for the time being. However, it will return next semester. It’s not going away. The school will make an attempt to make all students on campus fully aware of their housing situation with leaflets handed out at the time of check in.
(Ryan Canfield is a Delta newspaper reporter.)