Come visit the table (# 26) of the Student Housing Association on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, 1-3PM at the Price Center East Ballroom! Get the newest graduate housing news from ARCHAC and HDH, find useful analysis, and connect with student housing advocates.
The UC San Diego Housing, Dining and Hospitality (HDH) has responded to the Housing Resolution which the GSA Council passed during its last spring session on June 4, 2019. Here is the July 25, 2019 response.
HDH continues to use what it seems to frequently rely on as trump card wording that it is, “a self-supporting auxiliary unit“. This is problematic for at least two reasons, stated below.
Further, HDH continues to maintain that it offers graduate housing at 20% below market. This is clearly a misrepresentation of the reality. Calculations using HDH’s own statistics show this is an incorrect statement: take a look at plots 10-13 in this analysis, where the overinflated rent for new Nuevos housing is not even factored yet. This has been made clear on a number of ocassions, thus it must be that wording such as, “Current campus housing rates for graduate students — even in newly developed complexes — are at least 20% below market rate” is simply a part of old pre-formatted letters HDH wrote many years ago and forgot to edit.
Is HDH a “self-supporting auxiliary unit?”:
1. It seems to imply that HDH does not receive outside funding for its operation. This implication flies in the face of the words of the UCSD CFO who oversees HDH, who on February 25, 2019, stated that, “we have to escalate prices above inflation to absorb the large new financing cost despite spending all of our reserves and getting an additional line of credit from the Chancellor, an extraordinary move that I can tell you no other housing group is getting in the system.” Even if the line of credit is money HDH is expected to repay back (by student rent and room and board fees), receiving support from the Chancellor conflicts with the claim that HDH is a self-supporting unit.
2. Even if we assume that HDH is self-supporting (by student rent and room and board fees), it is curerntly hard to understand the HDH expenses HDH which flow out of its “self-supporting” model. There does not seem to be any barrier to significant amounts of money flowing out of the UCSD student housing system going to operations support, for example. This money could fund any expense, starting with salaries for Facilities Management staff which HDH uses to maintain campus housing and ending to salaries of the UCSD Chancellor, VIce Chancellor, and UCOP President. It is still a mystery why the HDH revenues from graduate housing are growing by ~70% for four years, while the Recharge Expense (which would inclide such operational expenses) is growing so disproportionately by 280% since HDH has not addressed this despite requests by the ARCHAC housing committee.
There are a number of other problems with HDH statements in the letter. Feel free to comment on the UCSD Student Housing Association’s Slack Channel.
Part 1: It starts with the student. What is good for the student?
Part 2: Who can advocated for the Student?
2a) The student
2b) **The Graduate Student Association**
2c) The Student-Workers Union
2d) The Student’s Department
2e) The faculty
Part 2b) The UCSD Graduate Student Association (GSA) can be a powerful advocate for the UCSD students. This is indeed the reason why the GSA exists: “The objective of the GSAUCSD shall be to represent and advance the interests and objectives of graduate and professional students of UCSD.” – GSA Constitution
In terms of campus student housing, strangely this has not been the case during 2018-2019 which was tumultuous in terms of campus housing for the UCSD student. The UCSD student thus needs to help its GSA leaders realign their priorities.
Here are the events which show the GSA has misdirected its efforts, time, and priorities under its leadership.
UCSD student homelessness is real.
Data Source. When on July 1, 2019 rent increase by the amounts enforced by HDH shown above per complex, UCSD graduate houisng rent became unaffordable at $824/month/person on average. This is unaffordable because it comprises more than 30% of the UCSD Teaching Assistant (TA) income who makes $2434/month*.
Teaching Assistants – who are a significant fraction of UCSD’s graduate students – do not get paid in the summer months.
This makes UCSD campus housing completely unaffordable annually:
– $824*12 = $9,888 in UCSD rent annually (’19-’20)
– $2,434*9 = $21,906 in TA income annually, no summer (’19-’20)
– $9,888 / $21,906 = 45%
That is, UCSD student housing on average takes up 45% of the average UCSD graduate student’s salary.
* This is the montly 2019-2020 TA salary if a student is employed at 50%; many are employed at 25%.
** The plot below shows rent as % of income for a TA paid for 12 months.
Quite frequently UCSD students are only paid 9 months out of the year, and not all students are paid at 50%.
If TAs are paid 12 months per year (they are not), rent is:
– $9,888 in average UCSD rent annually
– $2434*12 = $29,208/annual salary
– $9,888/$29,208 = 34% (dark blue line)
See above for the 9-month salary calculation.
Housing taking up 34% of a person’s salary is still unafforable, per the US Government’s HUD Dept.
NEW (Jul 16, 2019): ARCHAC Meeting Minutes 2015-2019. Missing is 2017 (please send along to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wed. June 26, 2019: Next ARCHAC-HDH meeting takes place 11:30am – 1:30pm in the HDH Barrett Room. The meetings are open to the public.
Rope & Cage Horton: How the UC San Diego Graduate Student Association leaders roped and caged a vocal student housing advocate.*
* The Whos just need to make more noise.