SGA’s Housing Advisory Board (HAB) just sent us this forthcoming letter to Barnard students. Highlights:
Dear fellow Barnard students,
We are writing to offer our assistance as your representatives in light of the many changes to housing this summer. We sympathize with and regret the frustrations, burdens, and anxieties that have been raised over the past week. We apologize for the lack of communication and hope that you will join us in a larger conversation moving forward.
We are pleased that 90% of students awaiting assignments have been offered housing for the fall. To Residential Life and other campus offices involved, we thank you for your tireless efforts to accommodate every student. Yet, there remain nine students on the Unguaranteed Wait List who have not yet been placed in campus housing.To all students affected by the shortage, we offer our sincerest apologies for your hardships and will strive to assist your communication with campus offices.
The SGA Housing Advisory Board has actively worked since last fall with the Office of Residential Life & Housing and other campus offices to address the housing shortage and prevent its recurrence. We briefly weighed the Plimpton corner room option last fall, but never felt that it would prove necessary. We understand that the possibility of this option should have been communicated sooner and invite you to share with us any residual concerns and questions this situation has created for you. Over the last week and a half, SGA has been in regular contact with the administration discussing how best to respond to the problem at hand and how to increase communication moving forward.
We sympathize with the students who bear the burdens of the present situation. Though we applaud Residential Life for their success in housing transfer students, we are saddened that the type of residential community afforded to these students must be different this year and will work to create new opportunities for them. Meanwhile, we expect that Barnard will continue its support for students residing off-campus. We encourage the Financial Aid Office to consider the specific and unusual nature of these students’ situations in setting their allotments and in determining loan packages. We also endeavor to ensure that any contractual changes are clearly articulated going forward.
Looking ahead at this juncture, the SGA Housing Advisory Board pledges to continue actively working with the Office of Residential Life & Housing to locate sustainable long-term options. We appreciate the transparency that Dean Hinkson’s statement represents and we strive to foster information exchange between administrators and students that is open, timely, and complete. The Representative for Student Services and Representative for Community Development will continue working through the Housing Advisory Board to communicate your concerns to Residential Life and the larger administration each week.
We hope you will provide your opinions and concerns about the state of housing as we solicit feedback. If the present situation has caused you personal hardships, we welcome you to be heard at these forums and are each accessible at our email addresses listed below as well as at firstname.lastname@example.org and at email@example.com. In the next weeks, we hope to continue to address the problems caused by this situation through direct forums for your concerns. Additionally, we welcome you to voice these concerns at our weekly Representative Council meetings. Opportunities will also be available to join the Housing Advisory Board in the fall. Should Barnard ever find itself under similar housing strains in the future, we hope you will engage in crafting the course of action. We look forward to your support in determining constructive solutions to these varied problems.
Once again, the Student Government Association is committed to increasing communication on these matters. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, suggestions, and concerns you wish to share. Thank you again for your patience and understanding.
Jennifer Fearon, Housing Advisory Board Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Winn Periyasamy, Representative for Community Development, email@example.com
Leah Rothstein, Representative for Student Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
JungHee Hyun, SGA President, email@example.com
Julia Kennedy, VP Student Government, firstname.lastname@example.org