We would like to bring to your attention the concerns of many MIT graduate students with regards to cost of living and in particular, the recent proposal for on-campus rent increase.
On-campus rents for graduate housing in the next academic year will rise by 6.5% on average, to the point where more than half of the beds will cost over 50% of the median student salary. Growing costs of living and insufficient stipend increases compound the problem. International students will be particularly affected, as they are not allowed alternative sources of income. In essence, on-campus housing is becoming unaffordable for MIT graduate students.
Yet graduate students are one of MIT's best assets. They do the research upon which the Institute builds its reputation and future funding. We understand that these are challenging times for MIT. However, students cannot be forced to bear the burden of a bad economy. Nor should they have to pay for the managerial inefficiencies in the on-campus housing system, which loses millions of dollars every year.
If these problems are not properly addressed, MIT will lose in the long run. Prospective graduate students will turn to rival institutions, such as Stanford University, which offers better housing subsidies. The daily hassle of long commutes and challenges of living off-campus on a tight budget are negative distractions to students.
We hope that you use the power of your voice to convince the decision makers of MIT that graduate students are of top priority. Please help bring the cost of living down and in line with the stipends.
Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence Officers
President, Graduate Association of Mechanical Engineers
Secretary, Architecture Student Council
President, Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence
President, Graduate Student Council
Housemasters, Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence
Associate Housemasters, Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence