B-CU cancels housing for those with debts
Officials say move necessary to collect outstanding fees
Many students returning to campus this fall received a rude wake-up call. They found that the housing reservation that they had made last spring had disappeared and in order to live on campus students had to pay any outstanding bills. There was a number of students who were either escorted from their dorms, rejected from the dorm they signed up for or assigned to room they did not sign up for due to several different reasons. The campus rumor mill kicked into action. One report suggested that as many as 900 students were affected. Another said Housing and Residence Life were not allowing students to live in certain dorms such as Phase I and II. It was also reported that Bronson had many empty dorms while students were declined housing. A follow-up by the Voice found that such rumors were not true. The number of students affected was more like a couple of hundred but nowhere near 900, administrators said. Still, there were issues and Khyrsten Bookart, a junior mass communications major, was among those who found themselves affected. "It was the most stressful time of my life," Bookart said about her experience with move-in. She said she had a $10,000 balance that she had to pay before she could move back into a dorm. Warren Heusner, vice president for enrollment management, said officials took the action after alerting students about their outstanding debts. "The final verdict was the removal of a student's housing. Student housing was dropped on July 1," Heusner said. "Emails were going out from the bursar's office on a monthly basis." Even with the action taken, at the time of the interview there were 610 students enrolled this semester that still owed a total of about $1.9 million, according to Heusner.
Meanwhile, Heusner said that the application process for financial aid for the next school year will open October 31. It is important, he said, that students take note of the deadlines and get their forms in on
time. "Students must do it," he said. Heusner also said that the school is looking to collect $14 million in outstanding balances from about 3,000 that failed to return in the last three years. Given the school's current financial predicament, collecting those funds should be a priority.
"It was the most stressful time of my life." -Khyrsten Bookart
By Ashlyn L. Denson