FSU trustees approve housing rate increase

Administrators at Florida A&M University and Florida State University are listening to students’ complaints about on-campus housing. Both schools are anticipating increasing rates to improve facilities and programs for students who live on campus.

Florida State University Board of Trustees approved a 2.94 to 5.13 percent housing rental rate increase in its meeting Friday.

The increase is based on a list of proposed student housing rates for 2003-2004 at select public universities in the South. The lowest suggested increase indicates a 3 percent increase at Florida International University and an 8 percent increase for residence halls at Georgia Tech and the University of Central Florida.

“Based on the research, this is a very reasonable increase that will provide a continued level of service to our students,” said Mary Coburn, vice president for student affairs

Coburn explained that the proposal had been reviewed and approved by several groups, from the housing department to students who participated in town hall meetings.

“To ensure that students are included in its housing decisions, the proposal went through several levels of review, including the university’s Auxiliary Service Board Inter Residence Hall Council (IRHC) and town hall meetings at Alumni Village,” said Rita Moser, director of housing at FSU.

Jerry Moore, FAMU’s housing director, consults with students and listens to residents and representatives of the Student Government Association. Moore said SGA student body president, Andre Hammel, provided frequent feedback. According to Moore, parents and alumni are interested in housing issues and have conveyed concerns to the department as well.

“We plan to make the residence hall a livable, exciting and pleasing place for students,” Moore said.

Moore anticipates major facility renovation and replacement. Basic improvements like parking, painting, replacing fire alarms and furniture are priorities. Initiatives that reward students and encourage study and social activities are included, such as resident hall honors floors and programs for freshmen and graduate student assistants.

Incentives like more student trips and expanding Internet access are also part of the strategy to make FAMU housing a desirable alternative for students.

A new residence hall, which will house over 600 students, opens this fall for the Seminoles as well. Located at Jefferson Avenue, Wildwood Drive and Park Avenue, it will resemble FAMU’s Palmetto Apartments, with four single bedrooms and two bathrooms per dorm room.

Undergraduates above first year level and graduate students are eligible for occupancy.

“FSU has dedicated over $80 million to facilities improvement in the last decade,” said. Rita Moser, director of housing.

Also in the works is an $18 million renovation of Landis Hall.

The rate increase scheduled for Fall 2003 is expected to fund essential physical plant improvements and salary increases.

Brooke Hobbs can be reached at brookehobbs@aol.com