Graduate students oppose UF student housing proposal

Graduate students oppose UF student housing proposal
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 10:40 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -In 2023, nearly 350 units of graduate student housing at the University of Florida will be destroyed. Although, officials say there’s a plan to accommodate these students.

“Give us housing, you have the space, you have the money, you have the ability to maintain what you have or pay us more,” said UF Graduate student, Julien Habif.

Specifically, after the Spring 2023 semester, Maguire and University Village South will be destroyed as a part of UF’s campus housing plan. The plan is to start a private-public partnership for UF to purchase Varsity House in Gainesville.

“We have connected the housing aspect of this with the stipends,” said Communications Director of Graduate Assistants United, Bryn Taylor.

Although, graduate assistant students say the rent prices proposed to live in Varsity House would burden their income. The minimum salary is around $21,000 and rent prices at Varsity House would be around $1,000 a month.

RELATED STORY: UF Trustees discussed plans to tear down two family housing complexes on campus

“The university counter-offered with a net raise $460, added Taylor. “Which is tens of dollars every month extra— it’s not going to change the lifestyle or the stress associated with finances that GA’s are experiencing.”

As members of the GAU focus on stipend increases, residents said more needs to be done to support their graduate students.

“UF could still be making money, still could be supporting students even if they sort of kept going but it’s over the last few years,” mentioned Habif. “I’ve lived here for like three years, it’s become more and more empty. Just in my building alone, we used to have eight different units now only two units are filled.”

Union members said they were set to bargain salaries on Friday— but mentioned the meeting was canceled by UF officials.

Find out more from current residents of Maguire and University Village South here.

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