In BYU-Hawaii’s on-campus housing contract, it states students may change rooms for the following semester during the “Room Change” period; however, the contract says “a $50 transfer fee will be applied to all room transfers.”
Janey Grover, manager of Residential Life at BYUH, said the policy has not changed but that leniency was given before. "In the recent past, transfers were necessary due to construction and in an effort to provide new students with a first semester experience. With more capacity for students to live on campus, we are able to provide a more stable living environment without necessitated moves.”
Haydn Wagner, a sophomore from Las Vegas studying education, said she is one of the many students who was provided this leniency when first coming to BYUH. Upon seeing the $50 transfer fee, she said she was confused and then annoyed. “I don’t understand why Housing just started to charge us without sending emails, notifications, posting it, or discussing it with students, because it seems like they have started to charge for a lot of things this semester. I would be less annoyed if they would just explain.”
Grover said the decision was made because of “overwhelming student feedback” that students would like a more stable living situation without having to constantly move. She said, “Based on university studies and studies performed outside the university in the residential life industry, data suggests that students do better when they have the ability to live in a stable environment. On our campus, a stable living environment includes staying in the same ward to ensure continuity of ward callings, continuity of roommate relationships, and continuity of the RA and coordinator for support.”
Chimako Anitok, a senior from Ewa Beach studying social work, confirmed in the past she was charged the $50 fee, but she personally does not agree with it. She said, ”I honestly think the charge is stupid and just taking my money. We have to pay a lot for Housing already and some Hales require meal plans, so add another $50 and it’s just unnecessary.
“If they want to charge us to move, make it $25 because the Housing on campus is not that nice. I am grateful for it, but there are a lot of little mistakes–in the rooms outlets are flipped upside down, the Wi-Fi cuts in and out. In my room, some of the doors won’t shut and are broken, and it’s really annoying.”
Financially the fee was hard, Anitok added, because $50 is not something students can just throw around especially with how much life and school already cost.
Wagner brought up, “What if you have a bad roommate?” She also said the way she has met many of her culturally diverse friends is from moving in the dorms. “If you spend all four years in one room, how are you going to experience the cultural diversity the school brags about offering? How are you going to learn about other cultures if you are forced to stay in one room?”