Quality schools provide quality housing

Quality schools provide quality housing

by Emily SchettlerCopy Editor

Ask any professor or instructor on campus and they will probably tell you that students can make some pretty ridiculous claims or demands. Cancel the midterm, give a month-long extension for my paper, count a hangover as an excused absence.

Like everyone, students can be unreasonable at times. What’s not unreasonable, however, is to expect a decent place to live on campus.

It’s reasonable to want to live in an apartment that’s not infested with bugs.

It’s reasonable to expect a mold-free, mildew-free dorm room.

Just because no one has died does not mean that these situations should be ignored or not taken seriously.

If there is one place Simpson has let its students down, it’s in housing.

After visiting Simpson and taking a tour of Barker as a high school senior, I was excited for the accommodations here.

The rooms looked nice, and the bathrooms were clean.

We even had our own temperature gages in each room, major upgrades over the state schools my friends were going to.

When I moved to campus and saw the other living quarters, such as Kresge, Buxton and Detroit, I felt I had been deceived.

No one told me that after my first year I’d be sleeping in a bedroom the size of a jail cell.

According to the Des Moines Register’s 2008 College Guide, Simpson’s room and board fees, approximately $6,988, are on target with those of other private schools in Iowa.

They should be. Simpson is a non-profit organization. Its goal should be to educate its students, not rob them through overpriced housing.

I lived on campus the summer after my freshman year, a decision I would never recommend to anyone.

The school charged $15 a day in rent. I had three roommates, so at $15 per day each of us paid approximately $450 a month. That’s $1800 a month for our tiny two-bedroom apartment with dirty floors and stained furniture.

We could have rented a house for that price.

Not only did we get charged through the roof, but Simpson was far from accommodating.

At the beginning of the summer I signed a contract to live with two other roommates. I received an e-mail one day at work notifying me that another girl would be moving in the next day.

Twelve hours is not enough time to make room for another roommate.

That same contract gave the date I needed to move out. Approximately two weeks prior to that date I received another e-mail saying we needed to move out early.

I received the e-mail on Tuesday and was expected to be out of the apartment by Friday of the same week.

I had a broken arm at the time and was unable to carry a heavy book bag, let alone a futon or television.

Three days was not enough time to find people to help me move, especially when moving day falls during the week.

That upset me enough, but what frustrated me the most was the lack of communication with the housing department.

I contacted the administrator who, at the time, was in charge of summer housing. I never got a response.

These latest incidents are just a few on a long list of grievances I’ve heard of or experienced with Simpson housing.

Students are all but required to live on campus. When we pay nearly $7,000 to live here, we can set some expectations.

We can expect safe housing, sanitary living conditions and expect housing officials who listen to and address our concerns.