College students, at our lowest moments, are uniquely exploitable. Every day there is another confusing lecture, another exam, another lab report that pushes us to our breaking points and beyond. If we have already put ourselves to the absolute limit of our endurance, it only takes the slightest of nudges to push us over the edge. A nudge that the housing organizations of Philadelphia are quite adept at giving.
Yes, the differing organizations that compete to house students are perhaps the worst perpetrators of this injustice. It has already started with this “priority leasing” period that looks like the only thing it gives priority to is cashing my checks. They make people fear that they will be left on the street somewhere, just so they can sign a couple more rooms. Any interaction with the American Campus Communities seems more like an attack than anything. They can rest assured though, Drexel backs them 100 percent with their policy that all sophomores live in campus approved housing.
This problem of over-advertising isn’t new; it has been around as long as I have gone here. My roommates and I originally signed our leases because there were “only four spots left” and we wanted to secure our housing. A couple months later, after we had taken these last few, the advertisement hadn’t changed. The lease increases also push people to make their decision out of desperation. We were told that all of the cheaper options were already taken but just a few months ago, I saw them being advertised again. Same sign, same deal..
That all being said, I am happy with where I live now in University Crossings. Having my own space in such a cluttered city is very much a blessing. There are so many convenient aspects that should be advertised, rather than to continue this guerrilla marketing scheme. If they were half as focused on improving the policies and facilities as they were on compelling people to sign up, the building would be packed.
I want to live in a place where everyone actually wants to be there. I love the location, I love the perks and I love that I can roll out of bed two minutes before an exam and still make it on time. I love living in a place where my friends are on the floors around me, able to hang out whenever we have time. Stop shoving your buildings down my throat, I’ve made my decision.
In college, the thing that students need most is someone to be there for them. We are constantly being taken advantage of through unavoidable textbook costs and the impossibly high cost of attendance. We are mugged for money that isn’t ours by companies that see us as only a target. The bottom line has become the bible that everyone worships. Even then, the recruitment rate probably looks as good on paper as the retention rate looks bad. If you want to truly appeal to our demographic, try being our friend ACC. Surprise us.