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Summer Arch housing fiasco

SitcomDadSitcomDad 5 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6 New Member
My daughter is part of the first class for which Summer Arch is mandatory, and i'm starting to get some bad feelings that this sudden expansion of the program isn't being planned very well. For one thing, they're making all the kids who have off-campus housing move back "on campus" for the summer...except that the only housing available is at the Colonie Apartments, right next to the Rite-Aid off Hoosick St. This isn't even a real dorm, has no dining hall, and is much farther away from classrooms than the "off-campus" housing where my daughter and her friends are now. When I tried discussing this with one of the ARCH directors, she apparently had no idea where the Colonie apartments were (!) The justification for making so many ARCH kids trek out there rather than stay where they are is that the ARCH is going to offer programs, support services, etc. based at the on-campus residence and it's important part of the ARCH experience. It sound like they're winging it to me. Does anyone have any more insight?
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Replies to: Summer Arch housing fiasco

  • atxfatheratxfather 53 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    Adds some weight to the theory that the ARCH is about enhancing revenue. ARCH effectively allows the undergraduate class to grow by 12% without adding any new facilities. Looks like they found a way to get summer rent for a large number of apartments that would otherwise be vacant. The closer in dorms are already booked for various camps etc but the far away apartments would otherwise be completely empty. I'm surprised they can fit the entire ARCH class (25% of the undergrads) in one set of apartments. Are they forcing a meal plan as well? It was ages ago when I was both an undergrad and a grad student at RPI but summer rents were dirt cheap. There was plenty of available off campus places that you could sublet (mostly off the books) very cheaply. I think I lived in my fraternity for like $15/week.
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  • reformedmanreformedman 416 replies28 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 444 Member
    edited January 23
    According to the application for the class of '21 for RPI the write-up indicates that the student is signing up for 5 semesters mandatory on-campus. After speaking with a person at the undergrad dept., they said that the studentwill have to contact and make arrangements with residential-life to see if they can break the bill in half since all the prices in the residential price list is in per-anum format. He was unsure and directed me to speak to residential life but I haven't gotten around to doing that yet. If you find out please let us know.

    He also indicated that waivers are certainly a possiblity for certain reasons, I think your daughter may have a valid reason if she can prove that she's been living within 20 miles of the school; it would indicate that the student is close enough to commute.

    On a different note, my kid says that for those students who currently do reside in-campus, they are garanteed to keep whatever housing they currently have through the summer.
    edited January 23
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  • SitcomDadSitcomDad 5 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Thanks to you, Axfather and Reformedman. I especially find it interesting that Reformedman's kid says that current on-campus residents get to stay in whatever dorm they're currently in. That is also what my kid has discovered from talking to some friends of hers that live on-campus. This flatly, completely contradicts what i was told by the Arch office. One of the arguments they gave for why you couldn't use inconvenience as a valid reason to get out of on-campus housing that isn't actually on-campus was that lots and lots of people are going to be inconvenienced. I was told that nobody is allowed to stay in their current dorms--they all have to move to the dorms that are specifically for Summer Arch. This appears to be false.
    I also find Axfather's theory intriguing, that the regular dorms are being occupied by summer campers! if so, they are prioritizing summer campers over their paying students. This is certainly not a fact which is being advertised!
    We do live within 20 miles of the school, so maybe we could try for a commuter waiver. Not that it would make any sense given the reasons i've been told, but sometimes bureaucracies don't make sense!
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  • reformedmanreformedman 416 replies28 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 444 Member
    I mean logistically speaking if I were running this money machine of an institution (not that there's anything wrong with doing that) is I would also agree that putting the high-school summer campers that are paying from 5k-10k for the summer programs closer to their classes for safety reasons as well as for big money vip reasons. Apparently this website was updated this year
    LINK

    Here's a quote
    CAMPUS LIVING
    The Arch re-centers of the on-campus experience offering unique opportunities during the summer for students to build and rebuild relationships throughout all academic areas while preparing them to go back out into the world.

    Housing
    In support of CLASS (Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students), all students participating in The Arch are required live on campus for a summer living and learning experience. All residence halls and classes during the summer semester will be air-conditioned.

    Summer Semester

    Students will live in North Hall, Sharp Hall, E-Complex, Blitman Commons, Quad, Stacwyck Apartments, and Colonie A-D.. If your on-campus housing arrangements are incomplete, please email Student Living and Learning or call 518-276-6284.
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  • atxfatheratxfather 53 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    The list of residences including more than just Colonie makes sense as I couldn't believe they could fit everyone into just the Colonie apartments. At least they are saying the ARCH kids get AC. I'd be livid at having to move pay for an on-campus space (particularly if they consider the apartments "on-campus") while I had a lease on a nicer and closer off campus apartment. At least there's some benefit for the $ as most of off campus apartments in Troy don't have AC. My daughter attended one of the camps as a rising HS senior. They put those kids in the freshman dorms (no AC) which was fine for a two week camp but would be draining for the full summer. They definitely want to corral the HS kids into a couple of freshman dorms so they can more easily control them.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 5892 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,921 Senior Member
    Will you cycle back or post a new thread about how the ARCH experience went for your student? This was one of the reasons that RPI didn't fall higher on my daughter's list. The impression DD had was that they hadn't worked out the kinks yet. We have younger family members and friends still in HS where RPI could be a match down the road so it would be interested to hear how it went. Good luck!
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  • SitcomDadSitcomDad 5 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Hi, Momofsenior1. I will definitely post some more once she has had the experience :). To Axfather and reformedman, this list makes more sense. I knew there were other dorms being used for Arch, but i didn't have a full list. So it sounds like the unlucky ones are shuffled off to Colonie. And yes, i'm not too happy about it.
    I think what the Arch office told me was definitely NOT true, and explains a lot. If students are allowed to stay in their dorms (at least if they happen to live in one of the Arch-assigned dorms) i assume that most kids would say "Yes", especially if the alternative was forcing them to live in the Colonie apts! The way the housing is assigned, you get a time slot by lottery, in which you can choose a living situation. By the time her slot came up, there were no spaces left other than in Colonie. So I assume it's ONLY kids who either commute or live off-campus (including Greek housing) that are getting this raw deal.
    If anyone were considering RPI, the above would be a really good reason to stay in your dorm sophomore year, if you're in a good, central building. That way, you could be guaranteed a good living situation in the summer.
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  • joedoejoedoe 255 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    edited January 30
    The school is now considering allowing Greek organizations to house students for Summer Arch. The plan isn't complete and they will only allow fraternities with high housing scores (nice/safe/clean facilities) to take part. This should be in place in time for Summer Arch for the Class of 2022, if they plan on actually doing it.
    edited January 30
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  • annamomannamom 1304 replies145 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    @SitcomDad How can your daughter live "off-campus" sophomore year?
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  • StudentsR1stStudentsR1st 107 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    Greek housing would be considered "off-campus" based on SitcomDad's description. With all due respect to joedoe if RPI is only now starting to consider allowing Greek Housing; they are very far behind schedule. They had one year to pilot the program, if it was not ready (as it wasn;t) they should have done another pilot. The problem is RPI could not afford to wait. They need the revenue from room & board. I think the fiasco will continue. What happens if less than 50% of the rising juniors have opportunities to leave for the fall. Going home and doing volunteer work should not be an option. I encourage all students, parents, and other supporters of RPI to carefully look at the financial picture. Check out Renew Rensselaer (even if you do not agree with their mission the financial statements are from public sources). If CLASS and ARCH are so successful RPI should be able to show that they simply break even or that they are not revenue generating activities.
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  • annamomannamom 1304 replies145 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    @StudentsR1st Is there housing for sororities ?
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  • StudentsR1stStudentsR1st 107 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    I do not know. I know RPI is trying to kill Greek Life.
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  • annamomannamom 1304 replies145 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,449 Senior Member
    I think it is independent of whether RPI is trying to kill Greek Life.
    During our visit, I was told that sororities at RPI did not have housing, hence I am surprised when @SitcomDad mentioned her daughter stayed "off-campus".
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  • StudentsR1stStudentsR1st 107 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    I looked on the website and did a google search based on sororities and did not find any. There is one co-ed fraternity that I believe has a house. Sororities at many schools (I have been gone from RPI for a while) unofficially secure on-campus housing in dorms etc by using squatting rights and lottery rules. I suggest asking very probing questions. 1) Having a house does not mean they have housing unless RPI has an interest (I am not sure if that means owning the land, the building, or holding a loan or any combination). So if the sorority owns its house, or leases it from an independent landlord it is not RPI housing. If the on-campus housing arrangement is unofficial the sorority does not have housing. I have heard, but never confirmed that some sororities prohibit chapters from having houses. I wish I could be more help. .
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  • StudentsR1stStudentsR1st 107 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    Will RPI help students secure housing off-campus during their Jr year perhaps through paired arrangements (Fall Section/Spring Section) so that an apartment can be continuously occupied. Where does the student who cannot find an off-campus opportunity live? Do they go home and sit for a term?
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