New housing contracts for 2015

On March 1, University Housing started accepting housing contracts for the 2015-2016 school year. Shortly around the corner, roommate choices and housing assignments will be set.

This year students will see a few changes, though. The most significant is the elimination of a squatter’s rights. This means students no longer have the option to keep the same room they had the year before.

The Director of University Housing, Jim Zentmeyer said this was a necessary change this year because of the addition of Oak View Hall.

“If we were to allow students to, as we often term it, invoke squatter’s rights then no one would move out of [Oak View] and that just struck us as not being very democratic,” Zentmeyer said. “We want all of our students to have an equal shot at all of the space.”

Zentmeyer said this may be viewed as unfortunate for those who are currently living in Oak View or like their current apartment. However, he says they haven’t received many complaints or negative feedback.

“If I could wave a wand I would build three more Oak View Halls but I don’t have that wand,” Zentmeyer said. “As a department we thought that would be the fairest route to go.”

It is quite common for Oakland to have more people apply for housing than beds they can offer. According to University Housing, before Oak View Hall was completed last year, they had to rent out three extended-stay hotels in the area that house the extra students.

“Oak View Hall, based on the demand that we are seeing, bought us one year,” Zentmeyer said.

Zentmeyer said he wouldn’t be surprised if they will be renting out hotels again this coming fall. As far as plans for expansion go, they have recently finished a master plan that could add an additional 1,300 to 2,000 beds. This would bring the number of on-campus residents to 4,500 or above.

According to Zentmeyer, Housing sees significant support from the administration with this plan.