Today I received an email from the office of the principal, asking me to apply for accommodation at the new hall of residence by the company “138 Student Living”. The new hall, currently under construction, is conveniently located just across from the students union and will be specially targeting “graduate students, medical Interns, Residents and Norman Manley Law School students.” You may take a tour of the facilities here:
After checking out the new accommodation, I figured it would be nice to live there for a while. I sent an email to the company inquiring the cost per month of this new ‘paradise’ and I promptly received a response. The figure they sent me didn’t have a lot of zeros, it had just 3 significant figures. The only problem I had with the figure presented was that the currency was not Jamaican. They don’t have faith in the strength of our Jamaican dollar to quote in such a currency as ours. Of course, the figure was US dollars. The cost per month will be 395 USD. That is currently equivalent to a butt whopping 45784.45 JMD. With that said:
Kidney For Sale!!!
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The University of the West Indies has always had a problem accommodating the thousands of students applying to live on halls. Most of the campus community are commuters so increased on-campus accommodation is always welcomed. Finding residence within close proximity to the campus can be challenging. I often see students walking around communities such as Mona, asking for a place to rent. Does this new hall solve the problem? I don’t think it is of significant aid as many students cannot afford such a high rent. The post-graduate students who can afford it, are not willing to spend all their stipend on rent alone. At the end of the email was the statement “Your University, providing first world living for first class students. We look forward to hearing from you.” Replacing “first class” with “upper class” would provide a more accurate summary.
The traditional halls such as Irvine Hall are the most affordable but the University is already making plans to demolish Irving Hall to construct a larger place of residence. But what will be the cost? Are there any plans to make more affordable accommodations?
In accessing tertiary education, tuition fee is only a half of the problem, accommodation is a significant factor. It is becoming more difficult for the poorer class to gain tertiary education.
If you see me living there next year, you may rest assured that my kidney was sold.
– Aldeam Facey 2015