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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Unexpected move-in delays cause stress for UMass Boston students

Olivia Reid
A student passes through the lobby of Peninsula Apartments. Photo by Olivia Reid (She/Her) / Photography Editor.

With the new academic school year already underway, many students have already moved into their new homes on and off campus. However, with the Boston housing crisis that seems to get worse every year, it’s been extremely difficult for UMass Boston students to find housing in and around the area. 

As expected, a majority of the freshmen have chosen to dorm on campus for their first year. With there only being two residence halls, housing is extremely tight. High demand for on-campus housing has led many students, some even coming from out of state, with nowhere to go despite classes already being in session. 

Incoming out of state freshman Makenzy Mimms from Florida expressed her experience with the housing department at UMass Boston. Due to tight scheduling with the waitlist for dorms, Mimms had to resort to finding an off campus apartment. “I had a really tough time getting in contact with UMass Boston in the first place, and they told me I was number 57 on the waitlist for housing. [It] was whatever at the time, but as the summer was coming to an end, I still hadn’t heard [anything] about housing. So, I went and found an apartment on Facebook in Dorchester and signed the lease,” Mimms said. [1]

“About two weeks ago, I got an email from UMass Boston saying that I had been accepted into housing. Mind you, two weeks ago I was two days away from making the drive from Florida to Boston. When I called them and asked them how I could cancel the housing since I wasn’t able to get out of my lease, they told me to go online and fill out the paperwork. Not bad at all, but then at the bottom it shows you a little grid with the fees you need to pay. After Aug. 1, it’s a $750 fee to cancel the dorm. [UMass Boston] said I had to pay, regardless of if I was told at the last minute or not.” [1]

Incoming freshmen aren’t the only students being affected by the housing crisis that UMass Boston and the rest of the city face. Transfer students and even returning students are faced with the same issue. 

Mackenzy Nenni, a sophomore transfer student from upstate New York, stated she had two different housing plans fall through, and was ultimately left stranded at Logan Airport in search of housing while classes were set to start the next day. [2]

“I have had two housing plans fall through, and I don’t have anywhere to live despite classes starting. I was living in Boston for two weeks and I’m currently at the airport, going home and searching for housing,” Nenni stated. [2]

“I was supposed to be living in a condo with people that I found off the campus housing website. One week before I moved in, they texted me saying the building was closed due to construction issues,” expressed Nenni. “I found housing at Harbor Point quickly after and moved in. Tension between me and one of my roommates was so intense that I chose to leave because they refused to speak to me.” [2]

Individuals who received housing from the University last school year and chose to come back are experiencing difficulties finding housing off campus. Returning sophomore Olli Capezza from New Jersey experienced a last minute delay for her apartment in Harbor Point, leaving her unsure as to where she could stay in order to still attend classes. [3]

“Last minute delays in moving due to negligence from leasing agents and landlords are arguably the most inconvenient and stressful for out of state and international students,” stated Capezza. “One day, you think you’re all set and have everything from school, work, packing and transportation lined up and then the next day, the rug gets pulled out from under you, and your entire living situation is up in the air. It’s so frustrating, especially when the people in charge clearly don’t care about displacing someone from their home hundreds to thousands of miles away.” [3]

Jennifer Mait, an employee in the Office of Housing and Residential Life at UMass Boston, was able to provide a breakdown of the waitlist, as well as some fee waiver information due to the high demand of housing. [4]

“This year, we have students who do remain on our waitlist that we have not been able to offer a space. They have received communications throughout the summer and a number of them have asked to be removed from the waitlist as they identified other off-campus housing options. Those students who have notified our office that they would like to be removed from the waitlist have not been charged a cancellation fee because we have had other students that can fill that space. Typically, once a student signs their housing license agreement they are financially responsible for at least some portion of the year’s housing costs.” [4]

Mait also stated the UMass Boston Housing Department is working to make the cancellation application more easily accessible for students on their website. Some fees are being waived to make the move-in process faster, since students are anxious to take the open spaces. “We are working on updating our website so folks can view a PDF copy of our cancellation request form more easily. So if we were to offer a space to someone from our waitlist last week and they declined it, they would be charged for their first installment (1/4 of the semester cost) and a $500 cancellation fee. [4]

“However, again, we have been waiving the fees because we do have other individuals on the waitlist who are anxious to take that space. We absolutely have more demand for housing than we have bed spaces on campus.” [4]

Students are aware that the housing crisis isn’t a problem that can be solved overnight. Their voices and concerns want to be heard by the University and apartment complexes surrounding the school, as this seems to be a recurring issue every school year.

About the Contributors
Samantha Beady, News Editor
Olivia Reid, Photo Editor