By Olivia Krauth–
U of L Housing knows processing its properties is confusing. Now, they’re working to simplify the process.
In two changes taking place this summer, housing will control 4,000 more beds of students’ living options, streamlining the application, management and payment processes for students and parents.
In July, U of L Housing will begin managing Bettie Johnson Hall, Billy Minardi Hall, Community Park and Kurz Hall. In mid-August, they will also begin a one-year lease of Cardinal Towne and University Pointe from American Campus Communities.
“We want to make the system less complicated for students,” U of L Housing Director Julie Weber said. “It’s gotten very complicated, trying to figure out which type of building is which, who can live there, what type of meal plan applies.”
Currently, there are multiple ways a housing option can be tied to U of L – affiliation, third-party management and crosses between the two – outside of university-owned halls. While those ways are still exist, the changes make more of the options fall under housing’s direct management, making housing seem easier to understand.
“As far as the student interacts with the housing system, there are only two choices now,” Weber said.
ACC, Cardinal Towne and University Pointe’s owner, will be responsible for physical upkeep, including maintenance requests and landscaping. ACC will also continue to run the retail spaces in Cardinal Towne. Anything that directly touches students is housing’s responsibility, including parking and leasing.
The change will simplify the application and leasing processes, as all properties will be listed on the main U of L housing application. Weber said many rent prices – especially in one-bedroom and studio apartments – dropped because there is no longer a need for leasing executives or managers, only the application.
“It allows us to allow way more nine month leases,” Weber said. “You’re going to study abroad? You don’t have to find a subleaser, you can just break your lease and we’ll find someone to take the space.”
Cardinal Towne and University Pointe will continue to be predominantly upperclassmen, with about 20 percent of UP being available to groups of freshmen. Both properties will have RAs.
“It’s not that the rules are different – they’re apartments, you have a lot more privacy in there. It really is about safety and responding to incidents and providing services to students,” Weber said of the RA’s role. “They don’t have to write everybody up for everything.”
Weber said housing released “a whole lot of information” to students and parents about the streamlining and updated the housing website with details.
“We basically tried to show that it’s what you’re used to in dealing with us,” Weber said. “We tried to just show it’s a continuation of your life on campus.”
The increase in beds gives housing wiggle room for potential future changes, including closing Miller, Threkheld and Unitas Halls temporarily or permanently. Weber said there aren’t any specific plans for the future of those buildings.