Editorial: Dorm Dues

Increasing residence hall price tags will defeat goal of keeping student costs down.

Last week, the Student Affairs Committee and the Campus Life and Diversity Committee of the Board of Trustees recommended price increases throughout university housing.

As Laura Ordonez reports on P. 1, these increases – expected to be approved by the Board of Trustees next week – come as Temple plans to open its $216 million residence hall this fall.

First, it should be noted that the committees proposed no increase in price for Johnson, Hardwick and Peabody halls because these halls have the lowest operational costs of any housing units at the university, officials said. The Temple News believes that this is a fair judgment on the committees’ part.

However, the trustees should be hesitant to approve increases to suite-style apartments, which officials report would range from approximately 3 percent for rooms at White Hall to up to 6 percent in 1300 and Temple Towers. The university has expressed that one of the goals of the construction of Morgan Hall is to give more of an opportunity for students to live on campus. This price increase could drive students off campus or dissuade students from exploring the idea of on-campus housing, especially with affordable options overflowing off campus.

Maintaining affordable costs for living is important, especially at Main Campus, where neighborhood residents and Temple alike have agreed on the notion of keeping students in on-campus housing when possible.

Furthermore, the increase would be hypocritical of a Board of Trustees and a university that has repeatedly stated that its main job is to keep costs down for students and curb student debt.

Last summer, Temple officials boasted that it had successfully leveled base tuition in an effort to lessen higher education’s financial burden on students. This increase would undermine that action by effectively increasing costs for students who wish to live on campus.

While The Temple News understands that increases in the price of on-campus housing are necessary as operational costs rise, but the trustees should greatly consider this financial impact on students before approving any increase.

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