For the first time, the university instituted a $300 fee for students who plan to stay in their on-campus residence halls during winter break this year.
If students do not leave their residence halls by Dec. 21 at 10 a.m., or if they return before Jan. 13 at 10 a.m., they will be charged the winter break housing extension fee. Associate Vice President for Student Affairs T.J. Logan told The Temple News this fee will cover the buildings’ operational costs.
The Temple News understands the necessity to fund the upkeep of residence halls during winter break, but the university must understand the pressure this new fee puts on students. Temple has never before charged those who need a place to stay during winter break, and $300 is a substantial expense for some students.
Some students come from faraway states and countries, and they have to juggle taking final exams and scheduling flights back home. Staying on campus can also be a way for students to save money. Other students might not have a place to stay at all in addition to their residence halls.
It’s unreasonable for the university not to be flexible in these instances — especially when students already pay thousands of dollars per semester to live on campus. At the end of the 2016-2017 year, the university closed Peabody Hall, the cheapest on-campus housing option. Now, the least expensive option for students are rooms in Johnson & Hardwick residence halls, which cost $3,733 per semester.
We understand the university has to cover certain expenses, especially in residence halls. But students have expenses too, including tuition and housing. It’s unfair to charge them extra when they’re already footing an expensive bill to live on Main Campus.