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An Update on the Barnard Housing Crisis

Barnard’s Dean of the College Avis Hinkson sent an email to all Barnard students yesterday updating them on the College’s plans to to avoid a housing crisis similar to the one Barnard finds itself in right now, and in anticipation of an inevitable re-shuffling of room assignments this spring. AHinks writes:

Now that the semester is well underway, our next step is to establish protocols and deadlines for on-campus housing for spring 2013 and future semesters. Throughout October, we will gather all  the data we can to inform the decision-making for this coming spring. We will work together with the Housing Advisory Board and SGA Exec Board to review the information and draft the policies. To this end, I would like to extend an invitation to you to send any thoughts, concerns or recommendations you may have [for] either me or your elected officers.

We aim to issue revised guidelines by November 1st. The guidelines will address how housing priorities will be established and the timeline for when decisions will be made. Our goal is to inform students as soon as possible of their housing status for the spring semester.

This email comes a week after SGA’s Rep Council meeting saw a significant turnout of concerned students and their opinions regarding the crisis. Likely responding to the consensus among students at the meeting that the administration had not appropriately addressed individual students who were directly impacted by the crunch, in her email AHinks also “express[es her] concern for the many of you who were deeply affected by the shortage of rooms this semester,” and is “grateful to those of you who moved into less-than-ideal accommodations.” She also “apologize[s] again to those of you who ended up living off campus due to the timing of when housing became available.”

This email landed in students’ inbox just before DSpar spoke at yesterday’s Rep Council meeting, offering a brief but notably transparent report on her perception of the crisis as motivated by “a really unfortunate series of bad events,” and her plan to develop “better early warning signals” for the future.

Dear Barnard Students,

I hope that your semester is off to a good start, and that you are enjoying these first few weeks on campus.

As you know, we recently experienced a housing shortage that was both complicated and unsettling for many of you.  Due to the convergence of a variety of factors, in August we were left with a significant lack of on-campus housing—something we want to avoid going forward.

Therefore, as I’ve discussed with many of you, now that the semester is well underway, our next step is to establish protocols and deadlines for on-campus housing for spring 2013 and then future semesters. Throughout October, we will gather all the data we can to inform the decision-making for this coming spring. We will work together with the Housing Advisory Board and SGA Exec Board to review the information and draft the policies. To this end, I would like to extend an invitation to you to send any thoughts, concerns or recommendations you may have either me or your elected officers.

We aim to issue revised guidelines by November 1.  The guidelines will address how housing priorities will be established and the timeline for when decisions will be made. Our goal is to inform students as soon as possible of their housing status for the spring semester.

I want to express my concern for the many of you who were deeply affected by the shortage of rooms this semester.  I am grateful to those of you who moved into less-than-ideal accommodations and apologize again to those of you who ended up living off campus due to the timing of when housing became available.  Please feel free to email me, the Housing Advisory Board, or SGA Exec Board.  We will do our best to incorporate your feedback as we refine our housing policies and plan for the future.

My sincerest thanks for your patience in this matter, and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Town Hall meeting on Tuesday at 6pm in the Event Oval.  The Town Hall discussion is dedicated to “cultivating better collaboration” and I hope you will be there.

Respectfully,

Dean Hinkson

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13 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Accept fewer students. There, problem solved.

    1. if the problem says:

      @if the problem is that barnard’s broke, how will taking in less tuition money help?

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous All the extra expenses they have in housing, teachimg, facilities, financial aid, extra professors, extra facilities, etc

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Except for the few girls whose singles became doubles, for whom I have passing pity, nobody should continue to care about this. Barnard is doing a lot of unfortunate things because it is in an unfortunate financial position and that’s that. After the initial criticism of the housing issue, they will likely try to avoid this specific fault in the future and if they don’t, no one will suffer torture. What good does continuing to talk about this do? Students are here for 4 years, Barnard doesn’t always do the best job, but this isn’t FOREVER, this isn’t some corrupt, malicious government. Protests and boycotts and calls for authority dismissals (of which I’ve heard a stupid amount) are unnecessary. Calm. Down. In my opinion we are only talking about this not because it is a relevant issue but because my Barnard colleagues like the idea of being the type of people that TAKE STANDS and get RILED UP.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous @Anonymous: you’re obviously not the one paying off campus rent…

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous @Anonymous: You’re obviously not the one paying off campus rent….just because it doesn’t pertain to majority of the campus doesn’t mean its a non issue.

    3. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous @Anonymous: just because this issue isn’t relevant to you doesn’t mean its a non issue. This housing crisis has taken a HUGE financial toll on many Barnard families. Unless you’re paying off campus rent…simmer down

    4. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous you’re clearly forgetting all the transfers who didn’t get housing and the returning students (including students on medical leave) who they took it away from. which was originally a population of 80+ students…

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Dean Hinkson obviously doesn’t realize how off campus housing works.The people who were continually told they weren’t going to receive housing pursued off campus housing. We can’t just sit around and wait for Dean Hinkson to make a decision. Spring 2013 housing is irrelevant to most people affected because we have 1 year leases…the main policy that needs to change is they must distinguish people who CHOOSE to live off campus from those who were FORCED off campus. Those people who were forced off campus should not be out of the lottery system for good. Dean Hinkson…please understand that NY real estate works differently than barnard housing. A lease is a lease.

  • BC 2013 says:

    @BC 2013 I am irritated by people who think that Dean Hinkson is PERSONALLY dicking over each and every Barnard student because she is a mean witch on an evil crusade or something. We can all agree that this wasn’t handled well, but do you really think this was Dean Hinkson’s idea, and hers alone? If you’re going to get angry, use some of your energy to figure out what is actually going on and address your concerns to the correct people. The real issue here is a lack of transparency, which is probably why people get all mad at Dean Hinkson — she’s the most visible person. So let’s demand transparency — not Dean Hinkson resigning, like I often hear my peers asking for. She’s not a bad person. I am sure she gets no pleasure out of doing unpopular things. The Board of Trustees is a more likely culprit…or whoever it is that controls our (sad) endowment.

    1. BC 2013 says:

      @BC 2013 I’VE BEEN COMIC SANS-ED. NOOOOOOOO!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Maybe they could fire a few administrators and turn their offices into extra housing. These tyrants, I mean administrators, are out of control. They forget that they work for the students, and the students are not beholden to them.

  • SIdiosyncratic Drunk says:

    @SIdiosyncratic Drunk Yo, come to my pants, bitches, there is always room. Wait, that is not because there is nothing to fill my pants, non nnonwfon, (*smokes hash*)(*passes out for a few minutes*) as i was saying the neoplationic vision of napoleon is quite fascinating man, with think of him as the one who will save mankind from anarchy. he always comes back from the island and retakes the land, so he is obviously the Ideal that all mankind needs, esp. with the pussification of our society, esp. us bitches here man who cant lift a container of calcium whtout apologizing for being white supremicist bastards who lick goat testicles at night

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