By DANIELLE MILLER
Students planning to live on campus during the next academic year should prepare to pay a little more. The board of trustees at IU South Bend just approved a 2.5% increase in the amount students will pay in campus housing that will go into effect this fall.
“We regularly raise rates, it’s unavoidable,” said Jeff Jones, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management in a phone interview.
“Utilities, maintenance and building materials increase every year and even though raises have been minimal in the last few years, salaries, benefits and health insurance have increased,” he said.
There is no cap on the amount that can be charged for student housing or the amount which it can increase per year. However, the board of trustees must approve every increase for the academic year based on Jones’ recommendations and budget reports.
“The board of trustees has judiciary responsibility for the entire university,” Jones said. “Housing is an auxiliary enterprise which means it stands alone,” he said.
The budget and funding is completely separate from the funding for the rest of the university he explained.
“We don’t receive money from campus, so things like materials we use for maintenance and repairs go up a little each year due to projected inflation and we have to cover those costs as well,” said Paul Krikau, director of housing.
“It’s the same as tuition increases. In the past five years, housing has increased every year,” Jones said.
According to Krikau, since utilities are included in the housing charges, they have to consider what the projected increases are going to be for water and electricity.
“Other housing options generally don’t include utilities in their packages, so when the electricity and water rates go up, they are passed directly onto the tenant,” Krikau said.
Student Elisabeth Caudill says she has no choice but to pay the higher rates.
“This increase will impose somewhat of a hardship on my family, but I live an hour away, so I have no choice but to stay at the apartments. I believe this is fair because these costs are going up, but so is everything else in this economy. I have a year and a half to live up there, so I am just going to have to tough it out and pay back my loans when the time comes,” she said.