Mesa Tenants Deserve More Than Administrative Draino

    The sticky situation in which secondary-tenant graduate students and graduate-housing administrators now find themselves is not easily pinned on any one culprit, but one thing is clear: a two-month eviction notice without any grounds but the out-of-nowhere inspiration to enhance the student community is likely to have rather the opposite effect.

    In order to implement any sort of change in the system, there is an unavoidable transition period; and in this case, the decision to limit guaranteed graduate housing to two years (or one year for the time being, until the lengthy and problematic waitlist has dried up) is a positive one. As many undergrads know all too well, one year on campus — or, in the case of Mesa graduate housing, as close as you can get without actually being on campus — is often just enough, sufficient as an introduction to La Jolla’s surrounding maze of palms and pavement but just awful enough to instill a craving for a little commuter action. Housing officials could easily stir a more diverse and complete graduate community under the new policy, rotating grads of all disciplines in just long enough to get a taste of each other and the area.

    However, housing administrators should simultaneously take into account that this mess — the impossible waitlist, the unregulated flow of secondary tenants taking the spots of those long in line — was completely self-created. Renters generally hold far more rights than their landlords, and for good reason: If the Man lets us squat for years without so much as a second glance, he doesn’t just get to decide one morning he wants a more qualified tenant. The roughly 200 secondaries being kicked to the curb next quarter, and hundreds more in the months to come, have legally made their homes in the Mesa housing, regardless of the university’s newfound penchant for communal perfection.

    UCSD Housing should have instead honored incoming graduates at a more labored pace, one that allowed for honorable clean-up of their own misdoing before ushering in hasty improvements.

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