Simon Fraser U. considers privatizing residences

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Burnaby, B.C. ‚Ä" Simon Fraser University has begun soliciting expressions of interest to determine whether residences on its campus should be sold to private companies.

The university has considered selling its 1,800 beds because of the growing cost of maintaining and repairing existing residences. The estimated $40 million in repairs needed are in addition to the university’s plan to expand the number of residences available.

The proposition has been met with backlash from the Simon Fraser Student Society, which criticized the arrangement for not mentioning restrictions on rent increase.

Aside from fear of rent increase, students are also concerned residences owned by private companies will not emphasize campus activities or offer as many university-related services.

Davenport, Iowa ‚Ä" Residents of Davenport, Iowa, a small city on the edge of the Mississippi River, voted down a proposal to approve a program that offers its residents free tuition to any in or out-of-state, private or public institution.

The proposed program ‚Ä" called the Davenport Promise program ‚Ä" would have provided free tuition to all local high school graduates starting this spring.

City officials found room in the budget for the program by utilizing no more than 30 per cent of an existing one-cent local option sales tax, as well as cut backs on the construction of three planned parks.

15,952 voters took part in the vote, with 61 per cent voting against the proposal.

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