Students petition againstinterim housing charge

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    MICHELLE KOWALSK

    Be prepared to pay extra rent for staying in on-campus housing if you are not leaving your residence hall for the Christmas break.

    Students not leaving their residence halls for Christmas vacation will be charged $8 a night, a fact that was clearly stated in housing contracts.

    Foreign Language Complex residents plan on filing a petition today with on-campus housing, since one quarter of the 122 students living in the complex will be staying for the break.

    “We have three main requests for the Housing Office,” said Billy Simpson, a senior from Provo majoring in history.

    A letter sent to all Foreign Language Complex residents states the three requests:

    “1) That we keep our keys during the break, and have free access to our apartments and our property, and that this be made a permanent policy continuing from now on.

    “2) That in the place of the $8 nightly fee, each paying student in the complex will make one contribution of $12 and so cover the total cost for the break of $1416.

    “3) That beginning next year, and continuing from then on, the costs of the semester break be precalculated into the regular monthly rental rates so that this situation does not repeat itself.”

    Simpson and some other residents have formed The Christmas Break Committee. These students have sent out letters to all of the complex’s residents and have asked students to write letters to the Housing Office expressing how the policy affects them.

    Irmaleda Anderson, assistant manager of Heritage Halls, said when students sign their contract they are told occupancy is until Dec. 20.

    “Right in the contract it says in the non-contract period an $8 fee will be charged,” said David Hunt, director of the Housing Office.

    Keys are kept because all the locks can’t be changed and keeping track of all the rooms isn’t possible, Hunt said. Students who want to enter their apartments during the holidays need to ask at their housing office.

    Changing the rental cost for all of the residence halls wouldn’t be fair for the majority of students who do leave for the break, Hunt said.

    The letter to the students at the Foreign Language Complex states: “Of all of the landlords who serve the some 25,000 students who live in off-campus apartments, there is not one that sets aside a two week ‘out-of-contract-pocket’ for their residents. Of all of these landlords, there is not one who takes their residents’ keys, thus denying them of access to their property, and more importantly denying themselves of the dignity of being considered an honest and responsible tenant.”

    “It is time for the BYU On-Campus Housing Office to amend its policy and show us the respect we are worthy of,” the letter says.

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