My landlord is intentionally taking away from the enjoyment of my home, and apparently I cannot do anything about it.
I am a resident of the West Range. For those newest to the University community, this means I live in the outward-facing portion of Thomas Jefferson's original University along with about fifty other graduate students.
You may have noticed the most visible problem with my home: I no longer have a front lawn. The administration began a wall-building project this summer that was supposed to be done by the time we moved back in, but it does not look like it will finish any time soon.
Additionally, administration representatives now have informed all members of the Lawn and Range communities that we no longer will be able to use our fireplaces without a significant investment on the part of the University ($1 to 3 million) because of a recently discovered safety issue.
I appreciate that the University may not have the resources to pay to finish the wall job quickly and is looking out for my safety by prohibiting the use of the fireplace. Neither of these issues, however, were disclosed to me before I signed up to live on the Range. Instead, the administration raised the rent significantly for this academic year, and now that I am paid up it has reduced the amenities of my home. It is irresponsible and likely illegal for the University to reduce the uses of my property without compensating me.
Put simply: I do not pay above-market rent to live in a 13 by 13 foot room because I love walking outside to use the bathroom. I live here as a graduate student because of the bundle of other amenities, which includes the option to enjoy a crackling fire or host social events outside of my room before football games. The administration is unwilling to pay the amount necessary to provide me with the amenities it promised, though.
Fine. If that is the case then the administration needs to make a serious offer to make up for the loss. Thus far, it has failed to do so.
Lance murashige \nCLAS '08, LAW II