Know what you’re leasing into

Uncaring mega-housing monoliths are exploiting students.

Look around at The Melrose, University Commons and most recently, the new apartments at 1301 University Ave. S.E. These mega monoliths of student housing are popping up everywhere. To many, these places are convenient housing choices for students who wish to live “off campus” while simultaneously offsetting the University’s lack of on-campus housing. But are these student-targeted structures worth their high price?

The Daily reported that students living at The Melrose and University Commons felt “unsafe” and were concerned about apartment security, citing frequent bike theft and theft from automobiles. While safety is a concern for the entire University community, it is important for students to question how responsive these corporate structures, which house thousands of students, are to student needs. Judging from the results of the Minnesota Student Association’s Renters Survey – a survey that provides clear information regarding safety, pricing and living conditions to student renters, it would seem they are not very responsive at all. Students are not satisfied. The majority of respondents said they would not recommend the unit or landlord of either complex to a friend. With both structures boasting luxury amenities such as tanning booths and Jacuzzis, one wonders why so many students are unsatisfied with the quality of service. Certainly those luxury items are a measure of how much places like The Melrose and University Commons appreciate students.

Unfortunately, places like the Melrose and University Commons operate under basic market principles. They are solely in the business to make the most money possible. They know students are prime capital to be exploited. Students are in transition and often don’t know what their rights are. These corporate structures figure there will always be a demand for student housing and they treat tenants accordingly.

Sadly, in the current housing environment, this seems like another lesson students have to learn on their road to graduation. Places like The Melrose and University Commons are not worth their price.