EUGENE, Ore.--- University of Oregon graduate students living at Graduate Village, one of UO's housing complexes, are speaking out after the university sent an email stating that they must relocate for the next academic year.
"I would really like to question where their priorities are," UO master's student and Graduate Village resident Amicia Nametka said. "This isn't the first time that it looks as if a decision has been made and put out in a sideways fashion, where clearly money is more important than student success."
In an email to Nametka on Friday, UO housing wrote:
"At the guidance of health authorities and the state, we set aside entire sections of our on-campus residential buildings for isolation (for positive cases) or quarantine (for contacts) should that become necessary for those students living in the residence halls. In order to make this adjustment, our overall capacity for residents in Graduate Village will be reduced. Unfortunately, we will not be able to renew your Graduate Village contract for the upcoming 2021–22 academic year."
Namekta said this announcement came with no forewarning. She said residents have been given very little time to find alternative housing and relocating could create substantially higher costs.
Nametka also said that this announcement couldn't have come at a worse time because students are preparing for the last two weeks of their spring term.
Graduate Village residents are planning a demonstration for Monday at 9 a.m. outside of Johnson Hall to demand UO housing to allow the tenants to keep their current housing.
In a statement, the university said:
"University Housing notified the 72 residents of Graduate Village last Friday that one of the two buildings would be reserved this fall for on-campus students who need to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19. Graduate Village contract agreements are for up to one year and all currently end June 30.
The building that will remain open will be made available to graduate and law students with priority given to those who have a year or less to graduation.
The UO is committed to identifying other university housing options such as family housing and university apartments for the residents who will need to move from the Graduate Village."