The University’s academic calendar is released two years in advance, so there is no excuse for local landlords to still have May to May leases when the finals week extends past May 1.
Starting this semester, finals week and commencement are scheduled past May 1. Students asked for a full week for Thanksgiving and four weeks for Winter break, and they got it, pushing classes further into May in order to meet accreditation requirements.
Students should not be scrambling and worrying about having to move during finals week or having their lease prorated. When signing a lease students should take the time to read through their lease because it is a binding contract so they can be aware of their ends dates and discuss this with their landlords. However, even with this landlords should do their jobs and simply check the University calendar before creating leases because the biggest population of their tenants are going to be students.
There is a very simple solution to the issue that will probably look pretty chaotic when May rolls around—change the future leases to be June to June. June to June leases would alleviate all the stress needlessly placed on students. Finals week is already a stressful time, and this just amplifies it.
There is a vast network of landlords in Maryville, but no committee has been created to join together allow them to come to one, cohesive solution.
“There are many people who have maybe bought a rental property for their kids to go to school and then just kept it and rented it,” Landlord Terina Sears said. “There are professors that have bought an apartment building or two and gotten into it, but there are so many numerous landlords, and we have no system of knowing who one another is, so we can’t communicate with one another to organize it between us.”
The University offers its own form of housing, and the issue of leases and finals week does not fall on its shoulders. Yet, even the University is still willing to work with students about this problem. Vice President of Student Affairs Matt Baker said the University would be willing, if there was a large enough need for it, to open up on-campus housing for students who had nowhere to stay after their lease was up.
Even the University is more willing to take on this problem and find a solution than the landlords. It should and needs to be entirely up to landlords to look at and understand the academic calendar and use it to then create leases.
Students are caught in the middle of chaos we did not ask for. A lot of the students affected by this are graduating seniors who are leaving at the end of May. They have no failsafe or new apartment to move into if they are kicked out of their apartment once their lease ends, but still required to stay in town for finals.
All the hotels in Maryville are filled up by now during that time because of graduation. So, students who can’t commute from their homes in other cities and states, they are left hanging in an uncertain situation of possibly just living in their cars for a few days.
But again, landlords are the biggest component of this. The calendar is easily accessed on the Northwest website. A five minute Google search on the part of the landlords could save students months of stress. Moving forward, landlords need to change their leases to be June to June because the academic calendar will extend into May.