The worst part about this whole mess is that it’s my fault, and there’s not that much that I can do about it.
Odds are, if you have resided in West Campus at one point or another, these words have crossed your mind. In my case, I’m trapped by American Campus with absolutely no experience or knowledge in residential law and order. The most frustrating aspect of this mess is that American Campus is doing exactly what they said they would do in my lease.
I signed my first lease at American Campus three months into my freshman year. I believed that time was running out if I didn’t want to live in a dorm again, and I didn’t want to stress about not knowing where I would live my second year of college, given that home was seven hours away from Austin.
Fast forward past a year of dealing with outrageous rent, a small living space and a water leak that came back weekly, and you’ll find me signing a co-ed lease agreement so that I may live with members of the opposite sex. Once again, we sign out of convenience — a high rent price was bearable for us as long as we did not have to move all of our stuff to an apartment with just as many (if not more) problems.
Presently, we find ourselves in the worst of situations: With one roommate moving out and no one else in line to take the room, my co-ed roommate and I will most likely be separated as American Campus couldn’t match us with someone random. Despite years of being a “valued resident,” we now face eviction to new units as our alternative living arrangement can’t be advertised.
Part of this problem stems from timing. We didn’t know until after the fall housing search season that we were likely to be separated if we didn’t begin advertising for ourselves. Even after posting on countless Facebook pages, we just can’t find someone at this point who would want to spend over $900 per month to live with two other roommates.
There are no other actions for me to take here. American Campus has not lied to me, and they have not gone out of their way to give me trouble. But due to the housing market pressure we students face and the exploitation of inexperienced students like myself, we feel scammed.
Hopefully, American Campus will begin to explore ways to improve their service for the students of UT, as they significantly influence many of our lives. In the event that they do not adapt, I hope sincerely that students begin to realize that they do have options, and that American Campus doesn’t have to be one of them.
Klein is a biology junior.