Housing and Residence Life announced that the housing deposit that students pay every spring to reserve their spot in university housing would no longer be refundable, essentially making the $325 a fee. Deposit, by definition, assumes that money is kept until some point when it is refunded, or applied to a sum owed.
Regardless of the University's rationale behind changing the deposit to a fee (while still retaining the word deposit), it is critical to note how incredibly unfair the new policy is to students. For many students, particularly upperclassmen, being able to reserve a space in University housing is an important security blanket, since off-campus housing options are up in the air until late April or May.
The fact of the matter is that no landlord in South Orange or any surrounding area is going to allow someone to sign a lease four or five months out. If a student wants to move off-campus, he or she will now be forced to take the risk of not placing a deposit and hoping that arrangements fall into place. That is a farfetched guarantee in February. Unless a student is willing to pay for those four or five months, the options are slim - lose $325 or keep the money, and take the chance on finding a place to live.
The Setonian strongly disagrees with the University's choice in amending the housing deposit program. It puts students at a disadvantage. Students should not feel that they now have fewer options because the University is looking to hold on to their money.
It is easy to understand why students are in an uproar over the announcement. At this point, for those not willing to take the chance, it is University housing or bust.