Editorial: Apartment complex buyout is another non-solution
There is a problem at the University of Arizona that some people need to come to terms with and accept.
We do not have enough housing to accommodate the number of people who desire housing. Just as there is limited parking and space for building expansion, there is a limit to the amount of housing the UA can provide. We only have so many beds.
As proved at this month's Arizona Board of Regents meeting, many people just can't accept this, and continue to conjure up illusions and clever purchases to hide this fact.
The purchase of outlying apartment complexes to relieve the Residence Life crunch does not create any more housing. It only shuffles people around and slaps the UA label on an otherwise perfectly legitimate student living option.
The UA Department of Residence Life was authorized to purchase Sky View Apartments and the remaining portion of Palm Shadows Apartments that it does not currently own.
While this move doesn't create more housing, it does two things - reduces the options for students wanting close apartments independent from the UA, and filters lease money into the university.
Contrary to the beliefs of Residence Life, some students don't want to live under its policies or territorial boundaries. These students seek close, affordable apartments and houses - both very available in the UA area. These students want privacy and freedom from UA's protective influence.
As a result of this purchase, hundreds of these students no longer have their apartments. Which is curious, considering Associated Students President Cisco Aguilar said the deal in question would actually accommodate such students seeking privacy and independence.
But Hank Amos, ABOR president, had a different take.
"It's better for the community and surrounding neighborhood to have the university involved because they can enforce policies," he said.
So, according to Aguilar and Amos, we now have housing for students seeking independence and privacy, but also wanting to be governed by UA policies so they don't piss off the neighbors. Uh huh.
So what exactly is the problem with students living in nearby apartments unaffiliated with the UA? If the UA can't provide enough on campus housing, students should be able to find their own place to live.
Students with the desire to live in an apartment should be able to do so, and students who want to live in dorms should live in dorms. If the UA doesn't have enough dorms, well, they're under construction. Until they are done, don't promise people we can put them up.
The answer to the "why?" that should pop up in all students' heads is the same old answer that so often comes up in UA affairs - money.
The UA has a long list of people who are willing to fork over money for a dorm space, and when there is a crunch, some of those people get turned away, along with their money.
But booting nearby apartment-dwellers in order to get more of that money is not an acceptable solution. Buying nearby space that already exists doesn't make more space, it just changes who runs the show and who gets the dough - at the expense of previous renters.