Ithaca College has consistently made it difficult for students to acquire on-campus housing that adequately meets their needs.
When COVID-19 hit the United States, the college left students flailing to sort out their own housing situations — and even said that it was not obligated to issue refunds in the event of temporary closures or restrictions on housing. Now, many students are being told they cannot make their own off-campus housing arrangements. When there are no changes as students complain year after year, housing at the college can’t help but seem like a cash grab.
Although the college requires the majority of students to live on campus because it is a residential college, it is frustrating that there is no flexibility, especially amid the pandemic when many students are facing economic strain.
The cost of housing on campus is often far less affordable than living off campus. Students have complained about the facilities they pay for, including water pressure in their showers, accessibility, elevators breaking down, meal plan requirements and poor maintenance. Considering the cost of living on campus — as high as $13,018 for a College Circle Apartments single — one should be able to expect to live in a comfortable environment that caters to their needs.
The process of housing should not stress students out. A residential college should feel like a home, but the housing process is isolating and frustrating for students every year. The bureaucratic process contradicts the idea of college being a “home away from home” when students have minimal say in what they want and need.
This entire academic year, students have aired their complaints against the administration for its lack of empathy for students. Time and time again, students feel like they are ignored and stuck in endless cycles of email correspondences. Why are students’ voices still lost in the housing process?