Equal housing prices are unfair to students

by Leonardo Castaneda

This semester, San Diego State debuted a new housing policy that is expected to continue the school’s proud tradition of equality. Instead of allowing incoming residents to choose their living accomodations, students will be given housing based on their academic interests. And instead of varying costs based on the quality of the residence hall, students will pay a flat rate based on their meal plan and whether they selected a single or a double room (for more on the new rule flip to page 2).

Stephanie Saccente quoted SDSU’s Director of Housing Administration, Eric Hansen, saying the new pricing system is more “egalitarian and socially just.” I must admit, it is refreshing to see SDSU take such an unexpectedly communistic view.

Seemingly, this streak of Marxism has been an underlying theme at the school, quietly influencing such decisions as the ever-rising tuition fees. I would love to see the school continue on this new path of social justice when determining faculty and administrative wages.

In reality, this wasn’t a decision to help students choose the most suitable housing or alleviate their cost considerations. It was done to overcharge students that areliving in the residence halls that for a variety of reasons are worse than others.

This isn’t some form of high-minded egalitarianism; it’s the most blatant form of monopoly upon a captive student market. If the school truly wants to make its housing decisions socially just and fair, it should remodel and improve all housinguntil every single hall has the same benefits and amenities as the others. Then they can charge an equal, and socially just flat rate.

It is easy to be cynical of SDSU’s new housing policy. We can only hope the university’s intentions are as equitable as it claims. Maybe then SDSU will try to do something to lower the housing costs that force so many students to commute in the first place.