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September 07, 1978 - Image 66

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ge 66-Thursday; September 7, 1978-The Michigan Daily

Shortages plague

By RICHARD BERKE
In most college towns, students don't concern
themselves with the housing market. They figure
housing is housing and besides scraping up enough
cash for the monthly rent, there's little need to
worry about it.
Not so in Ann Arbor.
IN THIS CITY, housing is a prime concern of
students, whether they live in dormitories, apar-
tments, or houses.
Ann Arbor has one of the most expensive housing
markets in the nation, with median rent 72 percent
higher than the national median, according to U.S.
Census figures. And on top of that, Ann Arbor's
vacancy rate is less than-one per cent, which doesn't
leave tenants much choice when searchinig for a
place to live.
Landlords; therefore, are able to call most of the
shots. They can (and do) hike their rents as often as
they please without losing tenants.

ACCORDING TO the city's Office of Building and
Safety Engineering, nearly every dwelling in Ann
Arbor violates the government's minimum health
and safety standards. Housing is so scarce, tenants
are forced to take what they can get.
Leases in Ann Arbor are almost as unique as the
housing market itself. The Public Interest Research
Group in Michigan (PIRGIM) last year examined a
sample of Ann Arbor leases and found that all con-
tained "objectionable clauses." PIRGIM said each
lease contained an average of 6.6 violations.
To make matters worse, students can't escape the
off-campus housing crunch by living in dorms for
four years. Current University dorm rates rank
second highest among Big Ten schools, with
average annual room and board rates nearing the
$2,000 mark.
THE CITY'S housing crisis has had an effect on
soaring University housing costs. Some students
fear renting off-campus and stay in dorms which,
like the city, have an almost non-existent vacancy

housing
rate. To compound the problem, the University has
not built any new student housing since Bursley Hall
was completed on North Campus a decade ago.
Since then, the University Regets have rejected
plans for new housing, claiming construction costs
are too high. They also point to demographic figures
predicting a decline in University enrollment over
the next few years.
Tenant advocate groups do operate in Ann Arbor
to help students cope with the housing crunch. The
Ann Arbor tenants Union (TU), with offices in the
Union, provides counseling services for students
having difficulties with landlords. In the past, TU
has also organized rent strikes as well as sponsoring
other programs to advance tenants' rights.
The Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) Housing
Law Reform Project works with TU to inform
tenants of their rights through booklets, films and
counseling. The University Off-Campus Housing Of-
fice also provides useful information for prospec-
tive tenants, such as how to find housing and what to
watch out for when signing a lease.

CLASSES ONLY PART OF 'U' EDUCATION:

Dorms
By R.J. SMITH
They come from Richardson, Texas,
and Ann Arbor, Michigan. From the
Panama Canal Zone and Osaka, Japan,
they come to their dorm, unpacking
popcorn and pencil sharpeners, more
than a few questions on their minds.
They may be tomorrow's dentists,
bankers and teachers-today, though,
they are the dope smokers and the
bookworms.
Life in a dormitory, for one's first
year, is the only way to go. It's not the
food or the decor, certainly; but dorms
in many ways give you an education as
important as the classes you will be
taking in the fall.
DORMS ARE places where you have
a home, but precious little is "yours."
There are no worries about the cooking,
no fuss about the cleaning; but there is
also no one to tell you how much
detergent goes in what temperature
water for how long when you wash
those jeans. And no matter how many
provisions you bring from home, you'll

0

Learning about living

end up buying soap, and stamps, and
paper plates, and animal crackers,
and...
A CIA surveillance man would envy
places like Mojo or West Quad for their
lack of privacy, but they are places
where you can share in all the joys and
miseries of sharing. That record, that
hairdryer, or the five bucks you don't
have is always around somewhere
down the hall, and so is that radical
viewpoint and disturbing prejudice.
You learn to adapt and tolerate, or
else you develop tunnel vision. The
ratio between the two usually is split
pretty evenly.
IN DORMS, there are tiny
rituals-individual rites of
passage-which everyone has to go
through. There are the first few days,
when everyone is frightened of going
down to eat, so whole halls eat together
in self-defense. Or, there are the fights
you have, such as the one when you
learn someone dares to play Bob Seger
at night, when you have an 8:00 class

the next day. Finding out there are
neither papertowels or any soap in the
lavatories, after you have your hands
wet. And sitting in the football block
with your whole dorm on Saturdays.
And then there are the two prime
rituals of dormitory life: the parties
and the food. Both are institutional. Vir-

tually anything can be a reason for pur-
chasing a keg or two, and the larger
spectacles offer you a unique look at
your dorm mates, as well as one of the
best ways to get to meet them. As the
school year rolls onward, the more
sizeable jamborees tend to become less
See DORMS, Page 9

The give and take

Daily Photo by PETER SERLING
laxing on the porch of his off-campus abode, this student has put the worry
house-hunting behind him.,

life at

We're
for

aiming
No. 1
ng .
anization
uWre
r,
805 Oxfor Rd.
Between Hill & Washtenaw

The hunting and, hassle
of off-campus housing

By JOAN CHARTIER
Displaying dormlike characteristics
such as hall noise, some unusual
residents and questionable food con-
tent, University co-ops nevertheless
offer a unique housing experience.
Although usually seen as an alter-
native to dorm or off-campus living af-
ter the freshman or sophomore year, it
is possible to join a co-op as an in-
coming freshperson or transfer
student: All you have to do is go to the
Inter-Cooperative Council Office,
located in the Union, and fill out an ap-
plication for one of the 14 Central and
nine North Campus co-ops. Later, the
office will let you know which co-op will
become your new home.
CO-OPS have the reputation of being
an inexpensive way to live. Typically,
one can expect to pay about $150 a mon-
th and receive two meals a day (not
always the finest cuisine) and a double
room.
A work commitment of 4-6 hours per

CO m-ops
week is usually required with respon-
sibilities varying from cooking and
cleaning to maintenance and ad-
ministrative duties. The theory is that
by having students run the maintenan-
ce of the house, costs are held to a
minimum. Unfortunately, co-op
residents don't always shoulder the
burden equally and costs creep up.
One factor to watch out for when
living in a co-op is waste of electricity
which everyone ends up paying for.
House decisions for each individual
co-op are made by that co-op's house
consensus. House meetings are often
confusing but always entertaining and
definitely serve to create a communal
atmosphere.
The moral of the story is, of course,
that if everyone cooperates equally the
co-op experience can be a Jhappy one.
Also, keep in mind that you don't have
to live in a University co-op. If the:
system suits your taste, you can get a4
house of people together and form your
own.

If a growir
social org
s what yo
looking foi
see us at:

995-4906
Human Sexuality Advocates
The "Lesbian Advocate" and the "Gay Male
Advocate" offer help with concerns about
homosexuality/bisexuality through:

By THOMAS O'CONNELL
By the end of their sophomore year,
and often as early as their freshman,
most University students move out of
their dormitories, driven away by a
combination of concrete food, less-than-
deluxe matchbox-sized rooms and the
aggravation of having to endure
washed-up ex-high school jocks who in-
sist on demonstrating their virility by
drinking too much and throwing up in
the halls.
The few masochistic stragglers who
attempt to stay on into their junior or
senior years are generally eliminated
by a television game show type of com-
petition called the dorm lottery, in
which contestants vie for the privilege
of retaining 33 percent of an "economy
triple" with dimensions similar to those
of an underfed Volkswagen.
WHEN YOU DO move out of the
dorm, however, be warned-it's not
impossible to end up in a living situation
that makes two semesters in South
Quad seem like a Tahitian vacation. If
you want to find decent off-campus
housing, you'd better be willing to start
looking early, do some walking and
spend some money. If you aren't
willing, you might find yourself living
under somebody's porch paying
outrageous rent.
Ann Arborhas one of the highestrent
rates and lowest vacancy percentages
in the United States, so it's dog-eat-dog
out there, kid. My three years living off-
campus in Ann Arbor have included
stints overpriced modern apartmen-
ts, over priced rundown apartments and
an overpriced house with seven other

t,

" peer counseling and referral
" education
" advocacy for civil rights
" service to gay student groups
CALL 763-4186 or 764-0207
OFFICES-3404, 3407 Michigan Union

people, a dog, a cat, a parrot and three
tanks of fish.
There are some ways to make things
easier, though. First, start looking
early, especially if you want to rent a
house rather than an apartment. Many
students start hitting the streets as
early as January to find a place for the
See THE, Page 9

Cam pus
Greek
traditions
flourish
By MICHAEL ARKUSH
Tucked away in the decrepit
expanse of Ann Arbor's student
ghetto, relief from the shabby
apartments and rundown houses
can be found in the well-kempt
bastions of tasteful student
housing-fraternities and
sororities.
Traditionally, the greek system
has been an integral part of
University life. And tradition is
what fraternities and sororities
are all about.
DESPITE LIBERAL changes
in the system wrought during the
sixties when the greek houses
faced serious membership slum-
ps, life in the large, cozy homes
goes on much the same as it did
when the parents of current
sorority sisters and fraternity
brothers were in college.
See GREEK$,Page 9

U of M's

Daily Photo by JOHN KNOX
Fraternity and sorority members disco the night away during a dance
marathon for charity.

Sororities Welcome You

.

Sorority F

MASS MEETI
September 2:
RUSH DATE
September 2
thru
October 4

lush
NG
1st
E S r4
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NA

DELTA TAU DELTA FRATERN1 T Y
f M
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