Rates for room and board increase by 2.5%

Townhouses in University Village West. Room and board will increase by 2.5% for students. Vanguard Photographer | Audrey Bergey

In December, the SVSU Board of Control approved a 2.5 percent increase in the room and board cost for students.

Dawn Iseler, Director of Auxiliary Operations, said that the increase is necessary for SVSU to maintain its operations and services at the level students expect.

Additionally, Iseler said that some of the money will be committed to improvements in the university’s WiFi, which has been a common request from the student body.

“The WiFi equipment has a limited lifespan and is upgraded approximately every five years to keep pace with evolving technology and increased bandwidth demands,” she said. “SpectrumU streaming TV was also added that relies on bandwidth rather than coaxial connections.

Iseler also said that the increase is modest compared to the current United States inflation rate of seven percent.

Iseler said that the staff recommendation for the increase was based on a careful market analysis as well as a study of current and future university needs.

When it comes to possible room and board cost increases in the future, Iseler said that it is always a possibility as wages, product costs, contracted services and utilities rise.

Iseler said that the higher price also has its upsides for SVSU students and that large projects are underway.

“We are constantly upgrading our housing and dining facilities to meet students’ current expectations,” she said. “This includes the deep cleaning and comprehensive summer general maintenance program that begins each year upon the conclusion of the winter semester and also large scale capital improvement projects that are planned based on the deferred maintenance needs for specific buildings.”

The renovations will be spread out over the next two years.

“Living Center South and University Village phase one will undergo comprehensive renovations during the summer of 2022,” she said. “Renovation work for University Village phase two, First Year Suites, and central Pine Grove Apartments is planned with some of the work tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2023.”

Iseler said that SVSU has earned the number one ranking for the “best dorms” among all public universities in the United States for three years in a row by Niche. She said that this is one reason why SVSU housing is worth the price.

“Our people, especially our staff in Campus Facilities, Housing and Residential Life, are the leading reason for this,” she said. “Ongoing maintenance and improvements are another key factor. We are also able to offer a significant number of single-bedroom accommodations for incoming freshmen residents.”

Iseler also said that the university has moved to a two-year budget cycle for housing and dining, allowing for students and families to make appropriate financial plans.

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