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EDITORIAL: IU's increase in housing prices should lead to improvements in housing



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Just when you thought IU couldn’t squeeze any more money out of you, the university decided to vote on increasing the cost of room and board as well as the meal plan options for students. 

However, this may not be a bad thing. 

The standard living option, the most available housing type on campus, will be raised $157 to a new annual total of $6,965. Some of the standard living includes the following residence halls: Eigenmann, Teter, Foster, McNutt, Forest and Read. These dorms are the only standard options which include air conditioning.

Meal plans will rise approximately $50. 

While initially upset over the increase in cost, the Editorial Board ultimately decided if this raise in tuition is going towards making housing better, then we were okay with the raise in costs. 

While this may not happen, we would like to see the money go towards any of the following options.

1. Give air conditioning to Wright and Collins

Wright Quad and Collins Center are the last two residence halls on campus without any sort of air conditioning, and this is just ridiculous at this point. 

With the weather getting warmer each year, the beginning of each school year is more unbearable for students who live in Wright or Collins. One of the Editorial Board’s own, Anne Anderson, said she stuck her feet in her freezer at night to be able to sleep because it was so hot. 

2. Give a raise to residence assistants and other residence hall staff

As of right now, RAs earn a stipend of approximately $1,500 for the whole school year. RAs are one of the busiest groups of students on campus. They still go to class full time while being a source of authority and guidance as well as a stand-in parent for students. Their hours can be constant, because they live on student floors and may perform night rounds multiple times a week. Because of their full-time commitment to the RA job, many of them don’t have time for a second job. While their compensation also includes free housing, a meal plan and a laundry plan, these things do not pay for monthly car bills, phone bills, insurance or any other financial need an upperclassman might have. 

IU asked the board to approve building a $99 million housing complex despite just opening the 182-bed Wells Quad at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. There will also be a wage increase for the dining operation portion of RPS on top of the current campus minimum wage of $10.15 an hour. 

Also, our wish of seeing renovations to Wright and Collins just might come true. We aren’t sure what “major renovations” the board is looking in to, but we hope air conditioning is one of them. 

Trustee Patrick Shoulders questioned the increased rate, as we originally did, and he reminded the board of a very important thing: “You don't want to get complacent about the increased cost of attending college.” 

While IU may be the sixth-cheapest school for room and board in the Big Ten, it also accepts many students on scholarship who need the cheap housing options. 

Necessary housing cost increases that provide better student amenities are understandable, but please, IU, do not unnecessarily raise any more costs for future and current students. 

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