The Cavalier Daily
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Board raises on-Grounds housing rates

Students who choose to live on Grounds during the next academic year will find they have to pay more than ever. At its meeting this weekend, the University's Board of Visitors unanimously passed a resolution to increase on-Grounds housing rates by an average of 5.8 percent for the 2001-2002 school year.

The increase includes a $150 surcharge, which will be phased in over three years. These funds will generate an additional $1 million annually, reaching a total of $4 million. The money will increase reserve for ongoing housing improvements and renovations.

Despite the increase, the University ranks third and the University's College at Wise ranks fourth in a ranking of the lowest double-room rates compared to 13 other Virginia public institutions.

The University's average double-room rate is $2,137, well below the state-wide average of $2,785. The University and the College at Wise are two of only four schools below the state average.

"We will continue to be below the average in Virginia," said Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer. "We are [continuing] to make significant investments in improving our facilities over the next few years."

Last year's housing rate increase averaged 3.8 percent, with about 1 percent of the increase being devoted to maintenance and renovation.

In other Board news, Vice President for Development Robert D. Sweeney reported on the end of the University's $1 billion Capital Campaign, which ended in December.

"I feel a bit naked today because this is the first Board meeting I've attended in 10 years without the blanket of the Capital Campaign," Sweeney said.

Since the Capital Campaign's launch in 1995, officials have raised about $1.4 billion, well beyond the initial goal of $500 million. Although the campaign has ended, rigorous fundraising will continue, Sweeney said.

"We would like to have for you a $300 million a year fundraising program [that will] allow us to leapfrog over 10 of the 20 best institutions in the country," he said.

The University now is entering the Virginia 2020 transition period, which will last three to four years, he added. "It's easy to have a license plate and proclaim your love for U.Va.," but University alumni must "translate that love to philanthropy," Sweeney said.

Also at the meeting, the Board elected Sasha Wilson as its new student member. Wilson is a fourth-year College and Curry School student.

In other Board news, Inter-Fraternity Council President Justin Saunders and Dean of Students Penny Rue presented a report regarding the Fraternity Working Group's progress.