Housing fines unfounded

Finances are a major concern for most students on FAMU’s campus, whether it entails month-late net checks, pending financial aid on iRattler, expensive textbooks and lab equipment, or even a comfortable stock of Ramen noodles, Frosted Flakes and peanut butter and jelly.

On-campus students now have another financial concern to add to the endless list of college expenses: housing fines.

While abiding by the established university housing rules is part of the experience that is on-campus housing, student fines now extend beyond failing inspection, curfew violation or inter-room visitation.

Palmetto Phase III held a mandatory meeting on Tuesday night for all residents. Those who were not in attendance without an excused absence allowance from the Resident Director were fined $75.

The meeting was not to remind over-zealous residents of the contract they agreed to when admitted into the apartment-style dorm; it was not to discuss a change in dorm policy; it was not relevant to Palmetto Phase III, except that the dorm happened to be the location of an extremely important meeting requiring the attendance of all residents.

The purpose of the meeting? For a Wachovia banking representative to teach students the art of budgeting, the importance of saving and how to maneuver through the financial aid and loans that accompany obtaining a higher education. While this is a worthwhile topic that all students should educate themselves on, the content of the meeting does not correlate to mandatory attendance and pending monetary payment if unable to attend.

Actually, the goal of the meeting and the pending fine directly contradict one another. Rather than giving students the option of learning their financial options for themselves, housing made a mandatory meeting out of a minute issue and, in the process, made money off of the same students who it is supposedly trying to help.