Housing is a student and community issue

El Leñador shares frustration with the student body over Cal Poly Humboldt’s (CPH) lack of transparency and empathy in its new on-campus housing policies which will prioritize a large amount of incoming freshman and new transfers. The institution should, instead, be prioritizing the students who have already invested time and resources into their education here.

The housing issues directly impact students of color, first-generation college students, students with disabilities and students from working-class backgrounds, especially those who have no credit history or background experience with renting.

Students of color do not feel safe leaving the campus and entering a white-dominated community. They feel like they do not have a support system off campus to help guide them through experiences of microaggressions, racism and predatory behavior from landlords.

The community should not be punished because of administrative oversight and the for-profit education system. Many students leave their families and support systems to be here and enter a housing market that can discriminate against them.

Instead of focusing on academics, the sole purpose for coming to CPH, returning students are now forced to stress about their living conditions. If CPH had been more transparent about these policies sooner, students would have had the opportunity to choose a different school to attend. What is more frustrating is the fact that the new housing policy, prioritizing incoming students and pushing returning students to find housing off-campus, was posted after the CSU application window closed.

Students are now challenged with the ultimate decision between dropping out, moving back home, or being homeless for the sake of continuing their education at Humboldt.

CPH needs to start valuing students as its future instead of using them to boost its numbers. Systematic change is necessary for the overcrowding and
houseless situations that the school is causing, especially when these issues have been present for decades.

The university and its students should be able to work together to make conditions more livable, but instead the trust is down the drain because of how poorly the university is handling the situation. If CPH doesn’t take active steps to repair this trust, the school will continue to have a bad reputation.

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