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Opinion | Preemptive rush to sign off campus leases induces vicious cycle of panic for students

By Editorial Board
On April 20, 2012

Off campus leasing now begins earlier than ever, with first-year students looking into housing options during their second semester at Miami University.

The Miami Student editorial board recognizes planning ahead is beneficial for students, and signing leases early is lucrative for landlords.

However, we believe that signing leases over two years in advance, as these students are, is irresponsible and absurd.

These students cannot be sure their plans will not change in the next two years, yet feel pressured to rush into living arrangements that may not work with their study abroad or internship plans.

Also, these years are a key time in development, and students won't likely maintain the same friend groups they had the first year or semester of college.

This could further complicate signing early leases.

If this trend continues, first-years will be signing leases in their first few weeks of school for houses and apartments for their junior year of college.

This situation is a vicious cycle of negative pressure to make decisions as soon as possible, and at the end of the day it's the student's responsibility to wait and risk a lower quality property or sign and risk having to back out later.

The Miami Student editorial board believes ultimately, the responsibility lies with the student.

However, the university, landlords and Miami University's Associated Student Government (ASG) could take initiatives to curb this issue.

Miami should improve its on campus housing to attract more students to stay on campus longer.

Landlords should better inform their future tenants about the serious commitment of a lease as a formal contract.

ASG, especially the off-campus senators, should make efforts to update and improve its resources for student housing in order to educate students about the housing search.

Many students don't realize what living arrangements are available and what are reasonable prices for housing.

Right now, the information Miami offers about off-campus housing deals with how to pay utilities or how to sign a lease.

This information is important to know but doesn't really tell students what options are out there.

The work of off-campus senators can help educate students on this issue.

Maybe we can't stop the housing craze, but we can at least attempt to slow the panic it induces for students.

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