Oh No! What Do You Mean There’s Going to be Change?

Matt DiGiovanni

As many of you know, the university recently released its plans to revamp the housing system, and much like with the Pay-to-Print program, the student body reacted with anger. The complaints range from “too many students and now we’re suffering” to my personal favorite: “I pay $40,000 a year and this is how they treat me?” Student body of the University of New Haven: grow up. I understand that change is scary, and that money can be an issue for some people, but a certain level of maturity should be maintained; a smear campaign against UNH is unnecessary. Honestly, I am not fully in love with this plan, and the method and timing of informing the student body of the changes could have been much better. However, UNH is trying to work with us to fix it. They could have released the new housing plan without including the Wintergreen Apartments leasing deal, and the same goes for the new condominiums that the university is working with for increased senior housing.

With regards to those who think UNH accepted too many students, how do you think the funds are raised to build new buildings and update on-campus facilities? Many of the students who posted on Facebook with this complaint proceeded to suggest that UNH should simply not have accepted so many students, and the problem would never have arisen. Growth should be a goal of any school to some extent, and while some of the student body may feel that certain construction was unnecessary, I look at it as a way for UNH to become a better school. To those who suggested that the school builds the facilities prior to accepting the students to fill and use those facilities: that is just not a feasible plan, because there would not be the required increase in funds to start building in the first place.

Moving on, I understand that juniors and seniors, as upperclassmen, deserve the right to pick housing first, but think back for a minute to when you first moved in to UNH. Would you want to be pushed off campus and thrown into an apartment in New Haven? It just doesn’t make sense to put underclassmen away from main campus. I firmly believe that I would grow and be more prepared for “real life” when done with college if I lived off campus. While not necessarily planning to live off campus next year, I have thought about that option for my senior year, and look forward to it. It might sound difficult and annoying, but it is definitely a worthwhile life change.

There is a very simple reason why I love the complaint “I pay $40,000 a year…” and that is the fact that the total amount generated by tuition alone is not enough to cover all of the costs of the university. There’s a reason for the fund raising done daily by on-campus offices such as the Phonathon, and it is not so that President Kaplan can raise his salary. Yes, the amount that we pay to attend UNH is a large sum of money, but with the development that has been occurring for years now I have no issue with it. I would not attend UNH if buildings like the Rec Center and Soundview were never possible, and if smart classrooms and new iMacs in Dodds and the Vlock Center in Maxcy were not some of the available resources.

Even though some students don’t want to accept it, the new housing plan is an improvement, and despite its imperfections, overall it is a measure taken by UNH to aid in its growth and the growth of UNH students. Students need to understand that UNH has to consider what is best for the entire student body as well as the school itself, and that if you really want to get something done, take the mature route, get your facts straight, and talk to the people who matter, like The Charger Bulletin and USGA.