Dorms and luxury suites

The cost of education grows ever higher these days. But Portland State students living on campus could soon see their housing cost head further skyward.

The cost of education grows ever higher these days. But Portland State students living on campus could soon see their housing cost head further skyward.

As inflation rates have caused student housing and tuition to increase at PSU by 3.53 percent, unemployment rates have also gone up. Fortunately, the PSU student-housing rates have not gone up by the anticipated 5 percent rate.

Corey Ray, Director of Housing and Residence Life at PSU, reported that “the 3.53 percent increase is the average. Montgomery Court is even smaller at 2.84 percent because the rooms are sleepers.” More so, over the last seven years, PSU has seen an increase of students—from 1,200 to 2,100—choosing to reside in university housing. And while some of them residing in Montgomery Court and Blumel Hall have to deal with the construction, the overall quality of housing keeps improving.

Student housing at PSU provides a diverse environment and many opportunities for students to meet each other. PSU may not have walk-in closets or private baths in all units, along with stunning views of downtown Portland, as does Boston University’s new Student Village II. Nor does it have amenities such as wood-fire pizza ovens, flat-screen TVs and courtyards with gas fireplaces like in the new Barrett Honors dorm at Arizona State.

What PSU does have is a realistic college experience that doesn’t resemble a four-year resort, one which ends after you graduate college and move back home with your parents while searching for a job that may or may not buy back the wood-fired pizza you ate whenever you pleased.

One of the things PSU does have to look forward to is the new College Station student-housing building that will be built between the two MAX lines.

“A plan,” as Ray stated, “is now in the works.” And in 10 to 15 years, the ideas and plans PSU Housing has are to build “three more after that [College Station],” said Ray.

Students always need a place to live, but what they don’t need is a resort-style dorm room. You should be paying for education more than paying to live in a fancy dorm with a plasma flat-screen TV. Boston University and Arizona State are examples that simply confirm that student housing in the U.S. is completely disproportionate.

While there are universities unable to get the funds to build student housing, there are universities on the other side of the country building skyscrapers for students. Sharing a common area allows you to meet more people.

Despite PSU being a commuter school with many students living at home and working, there are also international students and out-of-state students who do not have the same knowledge of people and the city as locals do.

Thankfully, PSU has programs such as Global Village and the Russian Immersion program at Stephen E. Epler Hall where local students can live and interact with international students. If universities want to attract more students, they should find better ways to do so. If dorm rooms are the only attractive thing about the university, the school will have students who end up spending too much time inside rather than socializing and building networks of friends.