Housing must not isolate disadvantaged students

Diversity has always been at the core of our university’s values. In November, SF State will celebrate the 46th anniversary of the College of Ethnic Studies, the only one of its kind. The school was just ranked No. 24 on Best College Reviews’ list of the most ethnically diverse universities in the country.

As we continue to progress as a school, it is imperative we remain a bastion of diversity in a city that is becoming more and more gentrified. To do so, our housing must remain affordable and accessible to the faculty and students who make our school so unique.

On Thursday, SF State will accept proposals from four different development teams to build new student housing on Cardenas and Varela avenues off of Holloway Avenue. Campus officials have said that the prices would remain comparable to — or slightly higher than — current costs.

If we’re to keep our identity as a school, we need to ensure that students will actually be able to afford these proposed units, particularly students from low-income backgrounds and students of color.

Too often we have heard from students without resources, backed into a corner by the dire housing situation in San Francisco.

While developing “Crammed In,” our reporters spoke to students living in the back of a U-Haul truck, sleeping on friends’ couches five nights a week and living four to a room, still barely able to make ends meet.

The sad thing is, these scenarios are not so farfetched. Every student and faculty member knows someone who lives in a situation like this.

Instead of being part of the problem, SF State needs to address the needs of its students. The hurdles that so many people are being forced to jump over to attend or teach at SF State are ludicrous for a public institution.

The legacy of our university is at stake. The question is, who has the right to live here? Do we want to be remembered as a school that took a stand in the name of its students against the massive tidal wave of gentrification, or as a school that looked to make a short-term buck?

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