Como, don’t forget undergrads

by Daily Editorial Board

The Southeast Como neighborhood is working on rebranding itself to make the area more appealing to graduate students, University of Minnesota faculty members and other demographics that would move to the area and stay for the long term.
Student renters — particularly undergraduates — who reside in the neighborhood typically stay for only one year before moving, which creates instability, Southeast Como neighborhood coordinator Ricardo McCurley told the Minnesota Daily.
The traditional demand for student housing in Como is also on the decline, partly due to the increasing availability of luxury housing options near campus. 
Despite the area’s push for more long-term neighbors, student residents are still considered assets, neighborhood leaders say.
We understand the predicament neighborhoods near the University are facing as they seek to build solid communities that will benefit their members for more than a year or two. To this end, campaigning to attract graduate students and faculty members is a resourceful tactic. From this perspective, we support Como’s rebranding efforts.
We encourage neighborhood leaders and residents to remember that undergraduate students — though transient — are also a part of the Southeast Como community and have needs the neighborhood can meet. There are ways to incentivize these students to stay in their locations longer, such as improving the general quality of rental properties or offering discounted rent to those who renew.
Although we have no qualms with Como’s rebranding efforts, which we believe are necessary, it’s important not to forget about undergraduate students in the process.