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On-campus summer housing costs increase

Friday, February 29, 2008  
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By Lindsay Blaze

Students prepare for an increase in housing cost at Oklahoma Christian University starting this summer for different reasons than most expected.

Around the world, the trend is that the cost of living is rising. Gas prices are reaching a new high every week, electricity is costing more and the cost of food is becoming greater. It affects everyone whether they choose to admit it or not.

With these prices rising, Oklahoma Christian must also raise prices for students living in the campus dormitories and apartments.

The information of the increase already released with costs of tuition, although some students are finding the increase to be brand new.

"There's been some confusion about this, it's not in addition to tuition, it's included in the tuition raise," Dean of Students Neil Arter said.

The housing cost has been raised about five percent for the upcoming summer and into the next year. The Student Life Office at Oklahoma Christian has been working with the Business Office to keep the prices low for students living on campus Arter said.

"That's pretty typical, as Dean of Students, our office fights for as low of a raise as possible, cause that's our job, and it's pretty fortunate that we have the Business Office staff on our team because they want to do the best for the students as well," Arter said.

The increase goes toward rising energy costs. The cost includes gasoline prices, repair prices and electricity. Everything becomes more when energy costs more Arter said.

"The demand in the housing area comes from energy costs and these are the things that are hitting us right now," Arter said. "The rising energy costs, we are all being hit by them, I am at home too and that's what's really hard about the whole thing, parents are being hit by it at home too."

Despite the reasons given for the increase in the cost, students still have a difficult time believing it will really all go towards their cost of living on campus. From upperclassmen all the way down to lower classmen, the general attitude towards the increase remains the same.

"I think that in the four years that I've been here, tuition has continued to get higher and higher, and I'm glad I am graduating and don't have to worry about the increase in tuition," senior Jacob Smith said.

Some students would like to think about more creative ways to keep housing costs low.

"I think there are other ways that we can go about it rather than raising housing, like doing an electricity saving awareness or talking to students about something like leaving lights on. I know I do it all the time, rather than just jumping to higher costs," junior Anna Lemak said.

Other students worry about the extra cost burden this will add to students.

"It's already expensive to go to OC and increasing housing will make it harder for people to rationalize going here, you can live in a place like the Links for a few hundred dollars cheaper, and they have more amenities," sophomore Chelsea Wise said.

Still Arter thinks students are not completely right in their thinking about the raise in housing costs and need to consider other university's prices as well.

"If you take a look at the price of going to a private school in the United States, we are a steal of a deal, but what really matters to me and to students is what kind of money we have and that's the real numbers to us, you can look at national averages but I don't think those apply real well to our students because let's be honest about what really affects us and that's [my] situation," Arter said.

Yet Arter understands where students would feel that the money is being used for something other than what it is said to be used for.

"It always seems like the student's are afraid that someone is trying to take their money, I know I felt like that, and I think it is going to be an ongoing challenge for the student administrative relationship," Arter said. "The truth is OC is not stock-piling a bunch of money, it goes out the door here, and we don't have any left over." 

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