Break housing rates unfair to students

How would you react if your landlord made you leave your house or apartment for more than a week of their choosing?

You never pay your bill late — a bill that adds up to at least $600 a month. This includes electricity, garbage and water, but parking is a separate cost and your own laundry room is only a dream. Your own bathroom, even one shared with one or two more people, is also likely to be a dream.

Would you be shocked? Appalled? Maybe even outraged?

More than 6,000 undergraduate students at Kent State live in the residence halls. And sure — living on campus has a lot of benefits. There’s security, even if students sometimes complain about feeling baby-sat by RAs. You don’t have to pay for utilities, so you can crank up the heat and leave your Instant Messenger away message up all day. Classes are just a walk or free bus ride away, and it’s a lot easier to get involved when you live surrounded by hundreds of kids in your age group.

But no matter how a student feels about on-campus living, unless they are commuting from a parent’s house, they might just be stuck.

Kent State policy requires all students under the age of 21 and below a junior level who are taking at least nine credit hours — not even a full time course load — to live on campus. A level of junior in terms of academic standing translates to 60 completed semester credit hours. If a student took, and passed, the minimum of 12 credit hours each semester, they would be halfway through their third year at college before they could move off-campus.

It may be cheaper than the $50-per-night rate offered by local hotels, but it’s still ridiculous that the university charges students $25 a day to live on campus during spring break. During the fall, residence halls stay open for Thanksgiving break, free of charge. Spring break might be longer, but it still takes place in the middle of the semester.

A semester in which you already paid somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 for a place to live.

Even if a student decided to choke up the $25 a day (that’s $200 total), the university stressed that it had a “very limited number of spaces.” And all on-campus dining, which is required for any residence hall dweller, was closed.

What’s the big deal, you might be asking yourself. For students whose parents live within a few hours drive, it probably wasn’t that bad. And if they didn’t want to go home, they could choose to take a trip or visit friends. But what about students who don’t have as much of a choice?

This year, there are 237 international students enrolled as undergraduates at Kent State. A little closer to home are the 1,591 out-of-state undergraduates.

That’s a lot of students who had to scramble to find somewhere to stay during spring break. Yeah, they knew this ahead of time, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to go back to China, Uzbekistan or Benin for a week.

The above editorial is the general consensus opinion of the editorial board of the Daily Kent Stater.