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Archive for Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heard on the Hill: More details on KU’s room and board rate proposal; drive this month collecting professional clothing for students

November 1, 2012

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• We reported Wednesday about KU's proposal before the Board of Regents to increase room and board costs in student-housing facilities.

That report noted that the cost for a student who lives in a traditional residence hall double room — the most common option, according to KU's proposal document — who also orders the middle-tier meal option will pay $184 more for room and board in 2013-14, a 2.5 percent increase, if the proposal is approved.

The proposal goes into quite a bit more detail than that, though, so I thought I'd share a few more nuggets for the benefit of interested people.

For instance, under the proposal, costs will increase more for students who live in the more expensive rooms in the residence halls that have been renovated in recent years.

Students who live in a four-person suite, a double room with a bathroom or a large two-person room will now pay $8,848 for the year if they order that middle-tier meal plan, known as "Crimson Flex." (That compares with $7,442 for students in the more basic double rooms in the nonrenovated halls.) That would be up from $8,608 for this current academic year, an increase of about 2.8 percent.

The priciest student-housing option (not including the Stouffer Place family apartments, which charge a monthly rate with a 12-month contract) appears to be for a student living with just one other roommate in a renovated two-bedroom apartment in the Jayhawker Towers complex. Under the proposal, such a student would pay $10,744 for the year — an increase of just more than 2.8 percent over 2012-13 costs.

Speaking of the Towers, the proposal mentions an interesting little quirk. One option for residents there is a smaller, nonstandard, two-bedroom apartment available for about $1,000 less per year than a standard-sized one. The catch: there are only three of them in the entire complex, so you'd better claim one fast.

The other Board of Regents universities are also proposing their room and board rates for next year. Kansas State University's proposed total cost for a double room with a middle-tier food plan appears pretty comparable to KU's: $7,610 for the year.

• For the third year, an honor society at KU this month will be collecting professional clothing for use by students for interviews, career fairs and such.

The clothes will be stocked in the Professional Clothing Closet at the University Career Center in the Burge Union, where students can check out interview-ready duds for free. The Professional Clothing Drive is organized by Delta Epsilon Iota, an honor society focused on careers.

The society is looking for professional-grade suits, jackets or blazers, suits or blouses that can be worn with a suit, dress slacks, dresses or dark skirts, ties or dress shoes, as well as briefcases and portfolios.

You can drop off donations at the University Career Center as well as the career centers for the business, journalism and engineering schools.

I can think of at least one occasion when access to some professional wear may have helped me out during my days at KU. Once I was asked to participate in a journalism school panel about social media that was to be broadcast on local TV, and I showed up clad in a shirt and tie. Afterward, a faculty member pulled me aside and offered me some advice: "Son, if you're going to be on TV, wear a jacket."

• The dress requirements for reading Heard on the Hill are pretty loose. In fact, you can earn yourself the right to read in casual wear on Fridays if you send a news tip to merickson@ljworld.com.

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