Rates for university housing expected to increase in 2011-12

Housing requested a 4.25 percent increase in room rates for 2012.

University Housing is establishing the room-and-board rates for the 2011-12 academic year.

At the Feb. 23 Board of Trustees meeting, the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees recommended the Board approve an across-the-board 4.25 percent increase for student housing. The “board rate” for students is expected to increase by 1.5 percent in the upcoming academic year.

Illustration MARIA ZANKEY TTN

“I’m not surprised by this increase,” Temple Student Government Senate President Colin Saltry said in an e-mail.

The proposed increase would come to an annual average increase of $264 for students planning to live in Johnson and Hardwick residence halls or Peabody residence hall, $282 for students living in James S. White residence hall or 1940 residence hall, $284 for suite-style residents in 1300 residence hall and $318 for apartment styles in 1300 and $318 for Temple Towers.

Within this decision is University Housing’s revenues, which include the proposed increase in room rates, a 98 percent occupancy rate for all facilities, a 1 percent increase to the undergraduate Telecom fee of $85 per semester and an expected increase for summer housing of 40.2 percent based on recent trends.

University Housing expenses for the upcoming year include an increase in salaries and wages of 9.4 percent or $672,146 – a 3 percent projected salary increase for full-time employees, funding for 20 new departmental positions to start April 2012 in preparation for the opening of the South Gateway project and a rise in the cost of employee benefits.

Food-service expenses are projected to decrease in the upcoming year.

For expanded security coverage during winter break and a 3 percent security officer pay increase, security expenses are projected to increase by 1.6 percent or $33,508 from the 2011 fiscal year.

University Housing spent approximately $1,405,560 in the 2010 fiscal year to complete “a number of renewal and replacement projects,” the largest being a total renovation of the main lobby in Johnson and Hardwick, which cost $756,269.

“While raising rates, whether housing or tuition, is an easy fix for the university’s budget problems, students are already having a hard time coping with the high costs of books, living, classes, transportation and other expenses,” Saltry said.  “The administration needs to understand that budget problems can’t be borne solely on the backs of students and that before we hear a word about further increases on our end, we want to see more equity in distributing the burden.”

The Board of Trustees will meet on March 1 to approve or decline the proposed rate increase.

Valerie Rubinsky can be reached at valerie.rubinsky@temple.edu.

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