Student senate is working to pass a resolution that will allow students living on campus to cash in on their almighty dollar.
“If they don’t get rid of the fee, explain to students why they pay between $2,600 and $3,600 a semester for housing and these holidays are excluded from that,” said Erica Kaze, Tyler Junior College executive vice-president of Student Senate.
As a representative of the student body who lives on campus, she sees for herself the problem with students being required to pay a $25 fee if they choose to stay in the dorms during holidays. For international students like Erica, who is from Rwanda, it is difficult to make it home for every holiday so the daily fee for a stay in the dorms is inconvenient and unwelcoming for these students.
“Even if the smallest change is made, such as housing including the information about the fee in their handbook, we have accomplished something for the students,” said Lauren Tyler, Tyler Junior College student activities director.
In the student handbook provided to students under Hall Closings it reads, “The residence halls at TJC are closed during all official College closings- Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break.” Although it notes that halls are closed, it does not specify anything regarding a fee for each day that a student decides to stay on campus.
Schools such as Navarro College, Trinity Valley Community College and LeTourneau University do not charge students for stays during holidays.
Student Senate questions why TJC cannot work like these schools. The senate hopes to get rid of the fee altogether or have it reduced.
“We do not charge the students just because we feel like it, we have a responsibility to go by the institution’s policy and procedures,” said Aukse Harris, assistant director of residential life and housing.
The $25 fee students have to pay covers expenses associated with maintaining the building, such as paying the housing staff that stay in the dorms during these holidays, maintenance, safety patrol, and running electricity, water, heat and air.
Students are given a discounted price to stay in the dorms rather than paying hundreds of dollars to stay at a hotel.
“We can’t just not pay our staff when they have to spend their holidays working, the money has to come from somewhere. The majority of the students do not stay for holidays, so it would not be equitable for us to raise the rate of housing for all students,” said Diana Karol, director of residential life and housing