Improving graduate student housing options has been discussed for years at the University. The average wait time for graduate students to rent a University apartment is one-and-a-half years — about as long as it takes most master’s students to finish their degree. To tackle this problem, the Graduate Student Assembly last semester formed a special housing committee consisting of six members. Its progress was discussed at Tuesday’s GSA meeting, the first of the semester.
“We have been hearing from our constituents for many years that they want to have a place that’s close to campus, and affordable,” GSA President Brian Wilkey told the Texan.
GSA Vice President Vance Roper told the Texan that the housing committee has been designing surveys, planning to do focus groups to determine the ideal housing for graduate students.
However, their work won’t be easy. The cost of living in Austin has been rising for years now, and the options closest to campus tend to be centered on undergraduates.
The good news, according to Wilkey and Roper, is that administrators are listening to graduate students’ concerns and and often turn to GSA for information about graduate student housing needs.
To answer their questions, the committee will continue to gather information from the graduate student body in the coming months to best tailor its solutions.
As a graduate student, I applaud the committee’s dedication to better accommodating UT’s large community of graduate students.
Liu is an associate editor.