Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Tuesday, February 10, 1959.
In the wake of the publication of a letter signed by Richard Richardson which criticized the administration for alleged mishandling of student housing rental funds, the Review obtained an interview with Richard Vogel, secretary-treasurer of the University.
Vogel emphasized that “the reason for bringing the apartments on campus in the first place was not for profit, but to provide married students with reasonable facilities at reasonable rates.” He stressed that all proceeds from the housing program are used only in that area. The housing program is completely separated from the educational program.
Since the housing was first put into use, there have been, from time to time, long waiting lists of students desiring to use these facilities. The biggest problem facing the housing program has simply been the shortage of apartments. The units were put into use here when the housing situation in the community was critical, and they continue to provide married students with low rent facilities.
Since the housing money is used for the maintenance and improvement of the housing facilities, the program succeeds in not of its major purposes, for by operation within its budget, it does not become a burden on either the taxpayers or on the educational function of the university. Vogel pointed out that “while we continue to operate our units to be self-supporting, they are not run for profit.”
Referring to an apparent misunderstanding in Mr. Richardson’s letter, Vogel explained that there is considerable difference between net revenue and net profit. The net revenue for a particular persil represents money not yet spent for housing. The $24,000 figure quoted by Mr. Richardson might better be called gross revenues, less cash operating expenditures already paid out. This figure does not in any way recognize either interest or principal on bonds against the units. Maintenance costs on the old units are high, but the new units are expected to have low maintenance costs for several years.
Rentals for the university housing program are as follows: quonsets, $38; one bedroom apartments, $43; 2 bedroom apartments, $48; 3 bedroom apartments, $56; and 4 bedroom apartments, $64. This rate includes all utilities except electricity. All new units are $67.
As an example of operation costs, the gas bill for December was more than $1,100. There are many maintenance costs, to which the payments on the principal and interest on bonds must be added.