For some students, summer is a time to worry about classes, internships or anything else that pertains to their academics. For others, summer is a time to worry about whether they’ll have a place to sleep at night.
To help students in need of a place to stay, University Housing and Dining should add a short-term housing session during the month of August for students who are in between leases.
While taking classes last summer, neuroscience sophomore Nichole Jeong resorted to living on her friends’ couches after having her sublease end two weeks before her new lease began.
“During those two weeks I was virtually homeless,” Jeong said. “I was basically couch surfing with friends, and I had to live in a hostel next to campus for a bit — it was not a fun situation to be in.”
It’s hard to tell how many students end up like Jeong. Typically, student property leases begin in middle to late August and finish towards the end of July, creating a short gap of time between leases.
“I know a lot of people who are in between leases (over the summer),” Jeong said. “I definitely think that if UT offered emergency housing, a lot of people would be spared from having that same problem.”
Currently, UHD offers four different kinds of summer housing sessions. According to their website, sessions range from May 30-July 11, July 12-August 18, May 30-August 18 and May 30-August 1. The pricing ranges from $2,392 to $6,967 depending on the contract.
These sessions might work for students who live on campus during the school year, but they don’t adequately accommodate students with off-campus apartments who only need housing during the first couple weeks of August.
The latest housing session that UHD offers starts on July 12. Therefore, a student would not only have to pay their rent for the month of July, but also another $2,392 for summer housing. When you add that to how much they’re spending on summer tuition, many students can’t afford that price tag.
According to Ryan Colvin, assistant director of occupancy management for UHD, summer housing opening and closing dates are scheduled to coincide with the full length of summer sessions. However, if the demand for shorter term housing was high enough, UHD would look into forming another session.
“If the demand was high enough where we felt like that was a service that was needed for the students, we could try to incorporate it into our summer school operations,” Colvin said. “I was looking at that nine-week term session that ends on August 1, and there is a possibility that whatever space we were using for the nine weeks, we can clean it and turn it around and use it for theremainder of that August summer session.”
UHD should seriously consider making this a viable option. If short-term housing was created, students would finally have a safe, stable place to live while they studied for their summer courses. Hopefully, by this August, students will no longer have to worry about not having a home.
Lopez is a rhetoric and writing sophomore from Nederland, TX.