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Students demand lift in ANU accommodation investment
Students are calling on the Australian National University to increase investment in on-campus accommodation, saying they should not have to shoulder financial burdens that are not their fault.
The push for more funds is the result of the ANU Interhall Council of Presidents' 2012 Accommodation Survey, issued today.
The survey outlined concerns over increasing rents as the university faced a maintenance backlog and shifting demand for on-campus accommodation.
Council chairman Will Gort said the university was looking to increase the current on-campus rate of $175 a week by 6 per cent.
He said the $10.50 increase sounded minor, but 50 per cent of the survey respondents lived on a weekly disposable income of $50.
''We're happy with the rate at the moment but the university hasn't maintained the buildings at all over the past 40 years,'' he said.
''We're expected to pay for upgrades that should have been undertaken a good decade ago.''
While the council reported that 67 per cent of residents are receiving financial assistance from family or a spouse, it also raised concerns about the workloads of self-supporting students. It said 25 per cent of survey respondents worked for 21 hours or longer per week, with 12 per cent reported working more than 31 hours, an amount it said was ''sure to be affecting grades''.
The council's concluded its report by urging the university to recognise the value the on-campus accommodation and increase its investment.
''Without this the university will soon find rising vacancies, time-poor students and a greater financial mess than it began with,'' it stated.
''Residents cannot afford more tariff hikes and they are unwilling to shoulder the burden that was not their fault to begin with.''
Stephanie Anderson, 23rd August 2012
via Canberra Times