Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Irvine Hall fees outrageous

Published:Wednesday | August 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Depressed, confused and heartbroken are just a few words that can be used to describe how I am feeling as I write to you. At this point I'm sure that I speak for many Irvinites when I say that I am at my wits' end as it relates to finding means to pay these new hall fees.

Irvine Hall was the first hall of residence to be established at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in 1950. Irvine has a rich culture and has been known for providing relatively affordable facilities for students for decades.

I must hasten to say that I agree that the facilities were in need of dire repair. However, I cannot agree with the fact that the administrators of the university signed an agreement with a private contractor that would jeopardise the future of hundreds of students. Why should students be forced to pay such ridiculous fees for accommodation, when they are simply trying to find a reliable and safe facility?


Unfortunately, many students have since applied for leave of absence from the university, as the new hall fees, ranging from $25,000 to $30,000 a month, are almost the same as the tuition fees for some faculties on campus. Simply put, we cannot afford it.

The agreements made between 138 Student Living and the university were not made in the best interest of students. Yes, we knew that there would be an increase, but our plea is that this drastic increase be revisited, as the majority of the Irvine population will not be able to afford it.

How can UWI principal, Professor Archibald McDonald, come on local television and state that the points being brought across by students are "non-issues" and that students should learn to take responsibility! Must I take responsibility for the fact that I AM POOR?!

Many students had their cards deactivated when they were late in making payments last academic year. At that time, the fees were at the traditional rate of approximately $19,000 and $22,000 monthly for double and single rooms, respectively.

Education is a right and should not be treated as a "mere privilege".