Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Letter of the Day | 138 Student Living chairman responds

Published:Thursday | May 4, 2017 | 5:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

We write in response to Letter of the Day in your publication of April 10, 2017 and now provide details which we are confident will give a valid, new perspective on the issues raised in the letter.

138 Student Living Jamaica Limited (138 SL) is committed to providing world-class housing solutions on the University of the West Indies Mona campus (UWI) that will enhance the student's university experience.

 

51-week Contract

 

We would like to offer another perspective on the 51-week contract. To meet the specific needs of some students on the campus, primarily those in the field of medicine, who are on campus all year after their first year, and other students who want the security of tenure for the duration of their course, we offer a 51-week contract. Readers should be aware that after the first year of residence, on most halls, there is a limited chance of being re-admitted hence the need for security of tenure

 

Payment of hall fees

 

Similar to what happens on other halls we offer a normal arrangement of one month's security deposit and the monthly payment. If payment is not made on the due date, a quarterly administrative charge of $5,000 is applied.

However, we offer two additional payment options - quarterly payment and a full year's payment. Where students opt to pay in advance for an entire year, a discount is given. We do not add any additional fees.

Restriction of access

We are very slow to take action relating to the restriction of access by students, to the premises. We maintain an open-door policy and encourage students to visit our office to discuss any challenges they are facing so that we can work together towards finding a solution.

We offer our residents the opportunity to have a guest free for two nights and host them for additional nights at a cost of $2000 per night. This is a far less conservative approach than obtains on the traditional halls on the campus where visitors are required to leave by 1 a.m. and overnight visitors are not allowed.

 

Laundry Fees and WI-FI Service

 

Laundry fees: Invariably comparison is made with the laundry fees charged by the other halls for which the utilities, electricity and water, which are the major input costs for such a service, are subsidised by UWI and which is not so in our case. We do not attempt to make a surplus on this area of our operations and our single goal is to operate the facility at cost while offering efficient service and a clean environment.

Our Wi-Fi system is by far superior to what obtains elsewhere on the campus therefore students are inclined to be heavy users of our facility, logging on many devices. Once alerted that there is a problem, the necessary steps are usually taken by them to address the issue.

We are aware that, as with any newly constructed facility, certain challenges, namely plumbing, electrical equipment and the quality of furnishings and appliances only come to light after consistent use. We have been very responsive with handling these challenges as they arise and hasten to note that they are not widespread. We definitely do not know of any rat infestation on the Leslie Robinson Hall.

Again, we are committed to addressing any and every issue raised by our residents. This is in keeping with our goal to provide a world-class facility, resulting in highly satisfied residents contributing to the best possible student experience.

John Lee

Chairman

138 Student Living Jamaica Limited