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Archive for Tuesday, February 5, 1991

T RECONSIDER JAYHAWKER TOWERS RENT INCREASE

February 5, 1991

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A Kansas University student living in Jayhawker Towers complained Monday to a KU residental advisory board about a scheduled rent increase and a perceived deterioration in services.

Wendy Davis, KU senior and Jayhawker Towers Tenants Assn. president, said students are upset about plans to raise rent 7.8 percent next fall and close the complex's swimming pool this spring.

"As tenants, we feel rent rate increases should be reflective of basic service improvements," she said. "Residents are not so much against rate increases, but we'd like to see improvements."

Caryl Smith, dean of student life and chair of the Residential Programs Advisory Board, which sets policies for campus housing, said the 1991-92 rent increase won't be reconsidered by the board.

AS MANY AS four students can share an apartment at the complex. If a unit is occupied by four people, each will pay $1,406 to live there in the next academic year. That's $102 more than this year's rate.

However, Smith encouraged Davis to meet with Ken Stoner, director of student housing, to discuss the tenant association's perception that services are on the decline at Jayhawker Towers.

"It would appear to the naked eye, that at least to some degree, there has been a communications breakdown" between KU housing officials and the tenant association, Smith said. "We must work on that."

Davis presented the advisory board a petition signed by more than 100 students who object to the housing department's plan to fill the swimming pool at Jayhawker Towers with cement.

The tenant association held a weekend meeting in which residents complained about the pool closing, potholes in the parking lot, an inadequate student commons and crumbling stairways.

STONER SAID it was unfortunate officials of the tenant association, representing about 900 students, didn't attend last fall's meetings of the advisory board during which the pool issue was discussed.

Fred McElhenie, associate director of student housing, said after Monday's meeting that he was "a little surprised" that controversy erupted at this point in the process.

"It is perplexing," Smith said.

McElhenie said the pool, which isn't staffed by lifeguards, presents an attractive nuisance to non-residents of the complex. Apartments for students with children are a short distance from the pool.

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