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  1. #1
    Whatisgoingon? is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Circulating news of change of students ability to elect housing or leave aua housing?

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    I figured this could be used as a feed for students to share what news they have heard of this topic and provide what facts they may know regarding it. : So far this is what I have heard of bits and pieces floating around : 1) That CG was proposing a plan that would not directly (but pretty much force students by twisting their arm financially) force students into having to live (2) people to a room, possibly (4) total in the 2 bedroom apartments. And this idea would be "validated" by the statement that it "was to help guarantee loans to the students for all their semesters." (How have the students been able to for the last 5 years? I thought there was never this much of a problem of not getting loans.) The only students that could manage to then get themselves put outside of this mess would be self-payers, by giving the school even more money. 2) That eventually this plan would lead into pushing the students to all live in places like Utopia (which, rumored, but still heard, were housing complexes that were owned by the school and not another private owner that the school had to pay). This would perhaps help the school retain more of the collected money to itself. 3) That students would no longer, nor have the choice to move off campus sponsored housing. (Therefore, forcing them to pay the school directly, perhaps at a higher price for "crammed living" housing.) [Hardly seems to be accommodating to AUA students with helping them focus on studying and having a place in which to do it effectively. 4) That SGA was meeting with CG this week regarding what truth may be behind these floating bits of info and debate its enactment. Anyone else who has heard anything surrounding this situation, please share what you can. Moreover, please give any proven facts you have regarding it. It would be nice to find truth of this matter, not just had to the shrouded news that already exists. [One thing I'll say is that no matter what, is that universities are institutions in which students are customers. Aside from what you may counterpoint by saying share-holders, contributors, donators and what little outside tax money may be brought to assist, the students are the ones who fund a university's existence. They should be catered to accordingly. Not have everything done that they request, but certainly not ignored, nor have rights taken away such as where they choose to live. ... this could feed into a lot of other points ... but I will leave it at that.]

  2. #2
    Whatisgoingon? is offline Newbie 510 points
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    As CG came down to the island, I hope that they did not have to fly him first to Florida to get on a cruise, to then travel down here either.

  3. #3
    jabee_usm is offline Elite Member 513 points
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    As stated by T, school official:

    Senior Management has asked me to post the following:

    This past January 27th AUA management sat down with SGA and explained the adjusted cost of attendance for the upcoming May semester. The following day every student was emailed the details of the loan program to their university email account. During these turbulent economic times, officials of AUA viewed this as a great opportunity for qualified students to be able to get loans for their entire term of enrollment. Many students, who otherwise could not qualify for loans, have been able to get loans with the help of AUA strongly advocating for them. In many instances AUA guarantees loans for some of its students. Of the many non-Title IV schools, AUA is one of the few institutions that is able to provide loans for its incoming and continuing students.

    This revised cost of attendance has been established to reflect actual living expenses on island and to help counsel students with their financial obligations. In the past, loan disbursements had been excessive and did not accurately reflect the cost of living on the island. Nobody wantsgraduate with unnecessary bills and huge debt if it can be monitored and budgeted correctly. With this new financial reality, there may be a shift in some students’ lifestyle. For those students who feel they require more amenities than this loan package provides, there is an out of pocket expense, while not covered by the loan, that can meet their desired standard of living. There is no change in the group 3 double occupancy housing living standards and the group 2 double occupancy rooms are more than adequate for two beds and still provide adequate space for the roommates. It has been stated that AUA profits from falsified utility bills. This is completely false and our billing process is open to any student that wants to see their bills. Any time a discount is provided from the landlord it is passed along to students. Our goal is to keep expenses as low as possible for students as reflected in our subsidized bus service, food service, and in certain university sponsored housing, electricity and internet is subsidized.

    AUA had hoped that this policy change would be viewed as a great benefit and comfort for the student population with limited funds or credit issues, knowing that they did not constantly need to look for loan providers. It is with much disappointment that life style expectations have trumped the desire to fulfill ones dream of becoming a doctor.

    Students are counseled to pursue any other loan providers they wish to use and are free to do so. AUA does not require any student to use the loan providers that are currently offering loans to AUA students.

    AUA officials will sit down in person next week with SGA and try to explain some of the questions and objections that students have raised.
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  4. #4
    Cyberia is offline Senior Member 515 points
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    Exec SGA had a meeting Monday with CG..they brought up several alternatives that he's going to "look into" and get back to us on Wed night.

  5. #5
    Whatisgoingon? is offline Newbie 510 points
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    1) ["During these turbulent economic times, officials of AUA viewed this as a great opportunity for qualified students to be able to get loans for their entire term of enrollment."]

    Comment: I do like the strong politician's voice beginning to that statement. Now, when you say entire term of the enrollment, do you mean that as a student enrolls for their coming to AUA, they are guaranteed a loan agreement that will cover them for the entire time they are at AUA without having to apply every 1-2 semesters? Perhaps also with the stability of not having to change with which loan company the loans are held by, several times over the span of the student's time here?

    2) ["
    In many instances AUA guarantees loans for some of its students. Of the many non-Title IV schools, AUA is one of the few institutions that is able to provide loans for its incoming and continuing students."]

    Comment: With the words "incoming and CONTINUING students," that statement almost falls apart in its stance. What happened to the students who were at AUA and are now not
    presently here and it was not because of their grades?

    3) ["
    In the past, loan disbursements had been excessive and did not accurately reflect the cost of living on the island."]

    Comment: Perhaps this was true. Although, is it still true presently? I know that one of the MED Segment class boards felt concerned enough about the finances that they made the effort to collect finance outlines from each of its students to take to the SGA / AUA Administration meetings. Would this be happening if the cost was being reflected accurately?

    4) ["
    Nobody wants to graduate with unnecessary bills and huge debt if it can be monitored and budgeted correctly."]

    Comment: You are correct, but I am sure the majority of students would contest that if a single number, % difference in loan amount would bring about a significant change in living condition on the island [the number of persons living in one room, the amount of money they have for weekly groceries, the amount of money they have for taxis because (face it) the bus system is accomodating, but is and could never be 100% perfect, take for instance students who are half in one Med Segment and half in another Med Segment], they would prefer it.

    5) ["
    For those students who feel they require more amenities than this loan package provides, there is an out of pocket expense, while not covered by the loan, that can meet their desired standard of living."]

    Comment: Amenities is not a concern. It was the fact of not possibly having a room within a habitat that a student had to themselves. That they would be able to come and go at whatever hours of the busy day they had with academics and school meetings, would be able to study late hours at home, etc., without having to worry about disrupting a roommate and also, then not having to worry about the vice-versa. I do understand the counterpoint of a library to this statement. However, a library is not open 24 hours. They only library so far that AUA has, has internet that is much slower and harder to be productive with than the apartment complexes' internets. Sometimes a library can get so crowded as to become a distraction to be there. And basically, this point could boil down to the opinion that, well, I could just live in a car down the road from campus, if the point is going to be I only need/deserve a place to be able to sleep during the time in between that, which I spend on campus.

    6) ["
    There is no change in the group 3 double occupancy housing living standards and the group 2 double occupancy rooms are more than adequate for two beds and still provide adequate space for the roommates."]

    Comment: Clearly there would be no change with the lowest of the lowest possible housing option. And the words "more than adequate" must refer to a 10ft by 10ft space. Yes, many undergraduate students do that for 1 year of their undergraduate careers, but they are only required to do so for 1 year and that is a 1st year of undergraduate college scenario and this is medical school (much more significant I believe). I don't think anyone holds medical school to be as casual of a work load as undergraduate college is.

    7) ["
    It has been stated that AUA profits from falsified utility bills. This is completely false and our billing process is open to any student that wants to see their bills. Any time a discount is provided from the landlord it is passed along to students."]

    Comment: I personally know of students who are in upper Med Segments currently, that informed me that they requested the documentation of AUA, FROM THE UTILITIES COMPANIES multiple times and were never given the information. They attempted to request documentation from the companies directly, and were told by the companies that they were not allowed to disclose the bills to anyone except the direct owner of the property. So the students were not able to find out that way either. Also, what is to be said about the housing complexes where there are no separated meters to be seen on the outside of the buildings? Are they contained within a storage room of the complex? Or is it because the utilities are monitored via only several meters per complex and therefore, each student is not being held to his or her own amount used, but rather the amount of being guesstimated between the whole complex as to how much each of the students approximately own?

    8) ["
    Our goal is to keep expenses as low as possible for students as reflected in our subsidized bus service, food service, and in certain university sponsored housing, electricity and internet is subsidized."]

    Comment: Admirable, admirable, ... then you say "certain university sponsored housing," exactly what percent of the housing complexes fall under this category? What is the reason not all the housing complexes fall together under this category, at least regarding the internet service? Why is internet service something that each student at AUA as to address individually instead of each complex having provided internet that would be taken care of in the loans by the school? Each complex has its own internet wave signal receiver for a ACT or Instantnet internet company. Bandwidth could still be upheld for each of the students if the internet was to be taken care in a macro fashion. So how come the situation stands as currently?

    9) ["
    AUA had hoped that this policy change would be viewed as a great benefit and comfort for the student population with limited funds or credit issues, knowing that they did not constantly need to look for loan providers."]

    Comment: Again, like in statement number 1, does this wording infer that students would be able to sign a loan contract as they entered AUA, that would outline and establish loans for all the semesters that they attend AUA, without having to resign every 1-2 semesters.

    10) ["
    It is with much disappointment that life style expectations have trumped the desire to fulfill ones dream of becoming a doctor."]

    Comment: Again, very nice veteran use of political semantics. However, I'm sure that is not the case with any of the students at AUA. Each of the students were asked in their interviews why they wanted to attend AUA and become a doctor. I am sure zero of them replied it was because they wanted to experience "luxurious amenities" while living down in lovely Antigua. No, it is becauase they simply want a simply, accomadating atmosphere to study in, during their passage of medical school. And, students signed into attending AUA with the expectation that operations such as finance and what have you, would not fluxuate significantly while they were there. In terms of politics, the aspect of a grandfather-clause should certainly always be respected in situations as such. Students should know exactly what they are signing for when they sign into it.

    11) ["
    Students are counseled to pursue any other loan providers they wish to use and are free to do so. AUA does not require any student to use the loan providers that are currently offering loans to AUA students."]

    Comment: That is a very nice, sounding way of infering the statement: If you don't like the way the loans are setup by the hand of AUA, go ahead and try and get your loans figured out on your own. Although that is a statement that by all means they have the right to say, it doesn't say much about their caring, if that is something they really are willing to say. A point somewhat adjacent, I have talked with loans companies before and they have always informed me that the amount a loans company typically reliquishes to a student, is that of what the school contests is necessary. The student has no negotiating power with their loans company, it is at the say and power of the school.

    12) ["
    AUA officials will sit down in person next week with SGA and try to explain some of the questions and objections that students have raised."]

    Comment: Again, not all critical statements to be shared here, but this indeed is an aspect that is respected for its happening.

  6. #6
    Whatisgoingon? is offline Newbie 510 points
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    And with regards to Jabee, I understand those were not your words I was analyzing. So please do not feel as if I was addressing you directly. That feed was not directed at anyone individually.
    Last edited by Whatisgoingon?; 02-10-2009 at 09:49 PM.

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