Housing will be guaranteed for transfers entering UC Davis in fall 2009 – a move that puts the school on par with the other nine University of California campuses.
Transfer students under the age of 24 may choose to live in the residency halls, or in a single-occupancy apartment space leased by UC Davis Student Housing, while transfer students 24 years of age and older will be offered a single occupancy apartment space.
The university is nearing agreement on a “master lease“ with Primero Grove, The Arbors and The Lexington that would allow UC Davis to rent the apartments to transfer students while making the university responsible for payments to the complex.
Karen Mattis, residential manager at The Arbors, said the differences in such a lease are minor.
“The only changes are that we‘re renting to the university instead of the student, so there have to be insurance clauses in there to make sure that everyone is covered,“ she said.
Mattis said that her complex still sets the rental rate and the terms of the lease, and will have information about responsibility for paying utilities, for example.
“Our hope is that between the three complexes we‘ll have space for 300 students,“ said Emily Galindo, director of student housing. “That plus the residence hall space in the Castilian area will provide sufficient housing for transfers interested in contracting with student housing.“
Galindo said it‘s been an important goal of the department to be able to make a guarantee similar to the other UCs, which beginning next year will have at least a one year guarantee of housing for both transfer and undergraduate students systemwide.
“You certainly can‘t build housing overnight and one of the things we‘ve tried to do is we‘ve planned for future housing, we‘ve tried to plan in such a way that we would have sufficient amount to be able guarantee,“ she said.
Galindo has been part of the Transfer Task Force for the last two years
and has heard numerous sentiments that finding housing in Davis as a transfer student can be very difficult.
“What happened this year is that once the freshman enrollment was reduced, it freed up some additional spaces, and then we began to pursue some master leases with a few different apartment complexes in town,“ she said.
The risk involved is that if the university isn‘t able to fill those apartments, then Student Housing is on the hook for the rent, Galindo said.
But the risk was worth it, Galindo believes, to finally attain the long-time priority.
“Everyone except us [at the moment] guarantees housing, and we felt that we were at a disadvantage from an enrollment perspective because until last year there were two UCs that were unable to guarantee – but San Diego was able to secure that,“ she said.
Finding housing for the upcoming year can be a burden for anybody, but especially those who don‘t plan to be in Davis until May, Mattis said.
“The rental process can start as early as January,“ Mattis said. “By the time they know they‘ll be attending Davis, in May, most everything is rented up.“
Michael Dang, associate director of recruitment and marketing within the department of admissions, said they are hopeful that this will encourage more non-local students to consider UC Davis.
“Many students we admit are from southern California and other places that are pretty distant, and without a guaranteed transfer housing it‘s very difficult for some to drive long distances to search for housing,“ he said.
Galindo said that part of the reason for the push to guarantee housing for transfer students was their success upon enrollment.
“We did a lot of looking statistically and found that transfer students graduate at the same rate as first-year students,“ she said. “Once they get here they are able to graduate in a reasonable amount of time and do very well.“
MIKE DORSEY can be reached at email@example.com.