JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

JSU To Raise Rent on Residence Halls

By Danni Lusk
Chanticleer Staff Writer

Jacksonville State University Housing has proposed raising private room rates in residence halls for the Fall 2001.

"It is very important that we remain competitive with the private sector and with other universities," said JSU Housing director Marie Humphrey.

JSU Housing is an auxiliary of the University, making it a revenue-generating department. The department must at least "break even" when renting rooms each semester, according to Humphrey.

This is a difficult task though. "Each time that I sell a private room at Sparkman, for example, the University loses $396 and that's a problem," said Humphrey.

With uncertainty about proration, the University cannot afford such a loss, according to Humphrey.

Compared to other universities in Alabama, JSU's rental rates are at the bottom. For a double-occupancy room at Montevallo University, a student pays $1,072 per semester. At JSU, it is $575 for the same type of room in Fitzpatrick Hall. JSU's most expensive private room rate rings up at $862. It is almost double that at the University of Montevallo. "When looking at our rental rates compared to other schools, we do not even compare," said Humphrey. "JSU is still one of the cheapest rental rates in the state."

Other options were considered before deciding to raise private room rates. The department considered raising double room rates. "I did not want to increase double rates and I think that is fair to the students because a private room is an option," said Humphrey.

The department hopes to be able to make lots of improvements in the future with revenue generated from the "modest increase," according to Humphrey. They look to put standard four-post beds in all the halls, which are typical in most other university residence halls now. Cable, microfridges and Internet access in each room and recreation equipment in halls are other improvements Humphrey hopes to achieve.

A few changes for the fall semester include sororities making their own room assignments and the Marching Southerners moving from Weatherly Hall to Dixon Hall. Humphrey also hopes for the creation of a student advisory council within the department. "I am an advocate for the students," she said.

Re-application for housing in the fall begins next week. Humphrey plans to communicate "effectively" with students on potential changes. "Before students re-apply, they will get a sheet saying how much the rental rates probably will be," she said.

The proposal comes up for a vote at the end of this month.

"We support the educational mission of the University," said Humphrey. "But at the same time we must satisfy our customers."


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