Resident advisers who chose to be reassigned to Ram Village will be charged an additional $171.70 for their housing this semester, following the end of their employment on Oct. 30.
Carolina Housing Executive Director Allan Blattner said in a statement via UNC Media Relations that the additional fee is the prorated difference between a standard double and a private room in Ram Village.
A student brings a suitcase into Kenan Residence Hall for move-in on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. Shortly after, UNC moved to an all-remote learning format and on Sept. 10, all RA's were notified that they would be released from their positions by Oct. 30.
For all other RAs — including those who were already in Ram Village — Carolina Housing will preserve their $711 per semester rent after Oct. 30, Media Relations said.
Carolina Housing announced on Sept. 8 that 14 residence halls would close to consolidate students living on campus, reassigning many students and student staff to a different residence hall. On Sept. 10, Carolina Housing student staff were informed they would be released from their positions effective Oct. 30.
When residence halls were consolidated, Media Relations said RAs used the Housing Portal to select their preferences for new building choices and were informed in the portal that if they requested an assignment to a room type that costs more than their current assignment, they would be responsible for the price difference.
A former resident adviser, who requested anonymity due to concerns for future employment, said he was not aware ahead of time that being reassigned to Ram Village would lead to an extra charge for housing.
“We were under the impression that it was literally just a matter of going to a different residence hall, no extra charges,” he said.
After being reassigned to Ram Village, the RA said he learned about the extra charge and decided to resign from his position and return home.
“For me, that was a dealbreaker,” he said. “I didn’t even want to go through the hassle of trying to pay all that.”
He said he was confused about why Carolina Housing would charge RAs extra when they had no option but to be reassigned.
“Why should you charge RAs who are being relocated through no fault of their own more?” he said. “That didn’t make any sense.”
The RA said the entire experience was frustrating. When he was first reassigned, he tried to be optimistic, he said. But once he learned of the extra charge, he said he was caught in a whirlwind of emotions.
“I really wanted to stay as an RA as long as possible,” he said. “I was just like ‘I have to put my mental and physical health before a paycheck,’ so I just cut my losses and went home.”
The termination of student staff was attributed to a need to reduce spending, as Carolina Housing said its projected revenue is expected to go down by $20 million this semester.
Resident adviser Connor Leeson was not reassigned to Ram Village but said he thinks it is unfair to charge RAs extra.
“I kind of understand a little bit where Housing is coming from,” Leeson said. “They just lost millions of dollars, so they’re going to nickel and dime people wherever they can.”
Media Relations said that an email with additional details was sent to the RAs who requested relocation to Ram Village prior to any moving taking place. They said any RAs who do not wish to pay the Ram Village differential may still select another housing assignment.
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