PantherNOW Editorial Board
International students’ difficulties in securing housing at FIU have called the university’s commitment to them into question. FIU continuously praises its triumphs as a diverse school has created higher standards that aren’t being met.
FIU has become the desirable destination to pursue higher education for students around the world. FIU’s rise in performance coupled with its affordability is appealing but has resulted in a struggle between international and in-state students who are attempting to secure a spot at FIU.
Alarmingly, international students’ pains in finding housing are simply too severe to ignore.
The issue is far more pronounced when we consider the obstacles international students face. It is ridiculously difficult to obtain a stable job that pays enough for housing, necessities, and tuition. Along with the dreadful fact that International students face a language barrier that can be overwhelming.
The decision not to accommodate the housing needs of both upperclassmen and international students falls within the housing department but FIU as a whole must take better care of its international students.
In our interview with FIU Housing Director Andrew Naylor, the latter maintained that there isn’t a housing shortage. Nonetheless, the concern regarding the future situation with housing based on prioritizing freshmen remains.
If we want to establish ourselves as a preeminent institution for international students, and an intellectual hub welcoming people from every corner of the world, we simply must devise better accommodation methods that match such ambitious goals.
Housing is a basic necessity and it is unjust that those who are most in need of it don’t have access to it.
This problem is sharpened when the predatory nature of the current housing market is considered. It has not escaped most of us that the current market is unforgiving even to those who can work and count on a regular income stream. One can only fathom the unique challenge it would pose to those who simply lack the means to afford it.
As part of our interview, Director Naylor has confirmed the addition of 1,400 more beds that will be available in the near future. It is still unclear whether the usual methodology that’s proven disadvantageous to international students will hold in allocating these beds, but it’s refreshing to know that some steps are being taken to address the situation.
Another side of the issue is equally deserving of our attention. Namely, the unpredictability of the market and the influx of students who will apply to FIU, both of which are expected to exacerbate the situation.
Some tracking system has been employed in the past to give a fairly accurate prediction of the number of students who will vie for a spot at FIU. Sadly, these have not always captured an accurate picture of the incoming student population.
As the university increases its notoriety, it’s hoped that more students will want to join its ranks. To prevent a housing nightmare and cement our reputation as an international university, it’s worth considering that the university does a better job catering to its international students.
Understandably, this may mean that sacrifices will be made in one way or another, but it’s unconscionable that international students who often lack a support system in the United States are left to scramble for housing.
As a school that prides itself in its diversity, there seems to be little consideration on solving the housing situation that students fear will only get worse. It’s critical that FIU factors in the alarmingly high number of incoming freshmen when approaching the never ending housing situation.
It’s our wish in PantherNOW that these considerations be meditated upon in hopes of arriving at a satisfying solution in the interest of all.