The ASUCD Housing Day was Jan. 21 this year, and despite over 1,600 students and 40 complexes attending, some would hesitate to call it a complete success.
The relatively early date of the housing day event has become a problem for property managers in Davis, and this year efforts have increased to push the date back to March or April for following years.
Housing Day is an annual event held by ASUCD in early winter quarter to help students find information about off-campus housing for the following year. In a 2009 survey by a Renters Subcommittee of the City-UCD Student Liason Commission, results showed that nearly a third of all renters found information through Housing Day, reflecting the importance of the event.
Dean Shreve, manager of the Trees Apartments, supports moving Housing Day back in the year and has encouraged his renters to advocate with him.
“Whatever day Housing Day is, that’s automatically the beginning of the leasing season,” Shreve said. “It used to be back in March or April, but [ASUCD] kept moving it forward. It puts a lot of pressure on renters and complexes to know their availability extremely early in the year.”
According to Shreve, there is a significant majority of complex managers who agree that the event should be later in the year. Problems cited with the early date include requiring renters who have only lived in their apartment for a few months to know whether or not they plan on staying for another year, which leads to shuffling sub-leases and re-leases that Shreve said are unnecessary.
Jeanna Gindi, junior at UC Davis and assistant director of projects for the ASUCD Office of City and County Affairs (OCCA), worked extensively on Housing Day this year.
“Housing Day is early in the quarter because that’s when students start looking for information,” Gindi said. “It wouldn’t be relevant later.”
Gindi indicated that ASUCD had spoken with various apartment complexes and Davis Housing to learn what would be best for the student body.
“Davis Housing works with different Davis apartment complexes and has a lot of insight,” Gindi said. “They want the date to be moved too.”
ASUCD is working on moving the date for next year’s Housing Day back by about two weeks into early February. Shreve would like to see the date moved back in that fashion over a couple years until March is once again the beginning of leasing season.
“Housing Day will probably never be irrelevant,” Shreve said. “It has the set standard in Davis and moving it back conservatively like this will be a big help for everyone.”
Robert Swink, founder of Quest Property Management in Davis, has been involved with Davis housing for nearly 30 years and says that the vast majority of Housing Day events have been held in early March.
“There have been Housing Day events for the past 25 years or so, and I’ve been to every one,” Swink said. “I’ve found the best time to do the event is the last week of February or the first week of March because it gives everyone more time to decide on things like renewals and roommates. It’s really just been in the past couple of years that ASUCD decided on a date in January.”
Don Gibson, a senior biotechnology major and director of the OCCA, maintained that there is a diversity of opinions among apartment complexes about the best date for Housing Day, and that they are trying to find a balance between relevancy to students and convenience of renters and managers. He also reiterated that the event will likely be pushed back approximately two weeks next year, but that nothing has been set in stone.
BRIAN GERSON can be reached at email@example.com.