Senior Associate Dean of Housing and Residential Services clarifies proposed housing rate changes
Friedrich: “Students asked us to look at housing price models to make them more equitable.”
A Dormcon general body meeting on Oct. 26 discussed a potential shift to a one-rate model for all on-campus housing. Two representatives of the Division of Student Life (DSL), David Friedrich and Helen Wang, were in attendance. David Friedrich, the Senior Associate Dean of Housing and Residential Services, responded to a request for comment by the Tech.
In his email to the Tech, Friedrich said the new rate would be decided relative to the financial aid award a student is given. "The exact price of the one rate was not discussed in detail, but it would likely be a new blended rate tied to the financial aid allowance," he wrote. Furthermore, he said that "any changes to housing rates and financial aid would be reviewed and approved annually by Institute leaders."
The proposed transition to the one-rate model, slated for the academic years 2024-25 or 2025-26, includes a three-year period to minimize the impact on students. Fredrich wrote that the DSL thinks a three-year transition period "would distribute the impact on students over time rather than affecting everyone all at once by making a sudden change from one year to the next." Friedrich said the decision to reconsider the tiered pricing system "aligns with the reopening of East Campus in 2025."
Friedrich stressed that the current pricing model is inequitable, stating that "students with more financial means can access singles, which is a room type many consider to be more desirable." He believes that the one-rate model solves these issues. Friedrich argued that "the timing is opportune for reassessing the system's effectiveness, particularly with 97.5% of all singles falling above the financial aid allowance." Under the new model, "any student who is eligible for and wants a single will have an equal chance of getting one."
Friedrich emphasized that DSL shared the proposed one-rate model concept with "students, faculty, and staff" through meetings with various organizations, including DormCon Exec, Undergraduate Association Officers, Office of Minority Education Student Advisory Council (OMESAC), Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid (CUAFA), and the Committee on Student Life (CSL). He noted, "the recent conversation at the DormCon meeting was a great venue for students to ask questions and offer perspectives."
The decision will continue to be discussed at further Dormcon meetings, and students may follow up with questions to email@example.com or Friedrich directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions or concerns.