“I didn’t come here expecting it to be just like home”
Michael Bryant, four-year Brandt Dormitory resident.
Problems that have plagued the student housing program at the University of La Verne in the past have resurfaced once again to force students to raise questions on just what is the future of University housing.
Mary Ann Johnson, dean of student housing, disclaimed the notion that the University is in a unique situation.
“The problems that housing is facing this year are just extensions of past concerns. The fire alarm pulling at Brandt, security in Stu Han and maintenance complaints are all annual situations dealt with by this department,” said Johnson. She noted that at least partial solutions have alleviated these problems. She cited the assistance of the Eta Omega Delta Fraternity in helping keep the girls’ dorms safe and stronger security at Brandt. “For the first time, all of Brandt is locked up at night,” explained Johnson.
One source stated that the fire alarm problem at Brandt is getting better, but there is always the possibility of one or two people pulling the fire alarm.
Joe Lewis, resident advisor at Brandt said, “Maintenance and Security do an excellent job, but there just aren’t enough of them. We need more security and maintenance personnel and some individuals to take a careful examination of our housing regulations.
A new problem developed this year in the University’s newest housing effort. A New Woods resident’s car was stolen and another’s broken into within a span of three days in early November.
Tyrone Thomas, resident director for the Woods apartments, reasoned, “Where security is concerned, we definitely do our best. However, the new Woods is a very large complex, and there is only one security guard to watch the place at night. I think the only reasonable solution is to get another security guard.”
Thomas has taken this matter up with Woods management, but, no response has yet been given.
But, as in the past, the major problems that plague University housing this year are financial. A major problem, according to Johnson, is that some students pay a $50 room deposit to reserve their room and are never heard from again. “This creates an unpleasant situation,” Johnson said, “because the deposit is our only way of keeping track of the number of rooms needed this year. When they don’t come to claim their deposit, and we go ahead and rent the room, we lose money for every empty space.
“The interesting part of the matter is that there actually are students who can afford to give up $50 so easily. This past year, 193 students applied for housing, paid the deposit and left without attempting to reclaim their money. Since we are on contract with the owners at the Woods, we lose money for every vacancy that occurs because of this problem,” she said. A possible housing solution that has come up in the recent years is the possibility of getting new housing where students could live closer to campus, and the school could save thousands of dollars in shuttle fees.
Unfortunately, according to Dr. Sharon Wright, dean of student services, “We are in a holding pattern because of high interest rates.”
Dr. Armen Sarafian, ULV president, agreed with Dr. Wright, stating, “We are certainly in a stalemate as far as prospects for new housing are concerned. We are at a shortage of investors for the kinds of funds it would take to achieve such a project, and the current interest rates are certainly a negative factor.”
With predictions of many Wall Street sources who feel that Interest rates should fall to 12 percent by the end of next April, perhaps things will change for the better. But for now, the University of La Verne Is in a “wait-’till-next-year” situation as far as solving the current housing problems are concerned.