Izzy Pipa

Winter break housing fees should be dropped

November 29, 2021

Students shouldn’t be burdened by UVM housing fees for holiday breaks.

Whether they’re an international student, someone that lives far away from Vermont and can’t afford to travel or a student who doesn’t feel comfortable going back home, not all students have the chance to go home over school breaks.

UVM’s charge for housing during break presents an unfair financial burden to students.

In order to stay on campus for Thanksgiving break UVM charged students $161 for housing and $135 for an optional meal plan, according to the UVM Residential Life website.

UVMUS organized a protest that took place in Waterman Hall on Nov. 15, according to a Nov. 15 Cynic article.

Students voiced their disdain for the fees and the logistical issues students are met with over break, according to the same Cynic article.

UVMUS also created a petition that has gained over 2,000 signatures, according to their Nov. 13 Instagram post.

Despite student protest, Kevin Hytten, interim executive director of the Department of Residential Life, stated there are no plans to lower or get rid of the fees, according to the same Cynic article.

Hytten stated the charges offset the cost of keeping the buildings running and staffed.

However, that responsibility shouldn’t fall on students when they already paid at least $2,935 for one semester of housing, according to the UVM ResLife website.

The school should ensure its buildings run during breaks without the need of extra fees.

Other Vermont schools like Champlain College and Middlebury College do not have fees for their students over Thanksgiving break, according to Champlain’s Compass Student Services and Middlebury’s Student Life websites.

Hytten’s defense of the housing fee starts to crumble when realizing other Vermont schools do not charge their students.

The fee is clearly not a vital part of operations if other universities can operate without.

Part of UVM’s mission should be providing a sense of home for students.

Charging students for their home when they need it most because of a mandatory week-long break shows the lack of care this University has for its students.

At the very least, UVM ResLife should lower the fee and be more understanding of the student body and their various circumstances.

UVM ResLife failed to meet the needs of the students this Thanksgiving break, but for future breaks, the fee should be dropped.

This upcoming winter break, do not charge UVM students to stay in their homes.

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