A Special Message from the VP of Student Affairs

On February 18th, following my letter outlining changes in housing, hundreds of students attended an open forum to discuss those changes. In my view, thanks to the openness and candor of those who attended, we had an engaging and passionate discussion about a number of the challenges that students continue to face in housing availability; in ease of transportation for off-campus students; and in the clarity, timeliness and customer service quality of financial aid. For me, it was made clearer than ever that many students feel that their concerns about these persistent issues have been minimized or disregarded. Further, the announced decision to change the amount of the deposit for next year’s housing created considerable angst given the precipitous way in which I made this announcement.

I want you to know that I heard your concerns and have decided to suspend plans to utilize a portion of University Square for first-year housing next year. In addition, current students who have been in good standing with American Campus Communities (ACC) regarding their housing payment will not be required to pay a deposit. My staff will work with ACC to determine the best ways to assist those who have been unable to keep pace with their housing payments.

In addition, I am forming a task force that will include a broad spectrum of students and that will spend the coming months considering the valuable perspectives of students as we devise an alternative strategy. I appreciate the advocacy that I witnessed from the Student Government Association and the general student body and I want to see that same fervent commitment from students as we undertake to resolve these issues.

Thank you for your engagement. I can sincerely say that the Town Hall meeting brought many of your concerns to our attention in a more powerful way and we are eager to work with you on tackling these issues. I hope that you will continue to help us shape a better experience for PV students.

Tim Sams, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs
Dr. Tim Sams