Oct 222007
Authors: Christopher Wheeler

In an online survey sent to me tonight by CSU regarding the Community Welcome program (where faculty, police and students come to your house and hand out information on laws and city ordinances), I was asked to indicate how strongly I agreed with the following statement:

Fort Collins is a student friendly town.

In the space provided at the bottom of the survey (labeled “Comments”), I wrote the following clarification:

There is simply no way to call Fort Collins a “student friendly town” due to the “you plus two” law involving occupancy limits.

In a town where the local economy, city operations and even the university is funded by students, having such a law is a vagrant slap in the face to all of us who have put our hearts and souls into this town during our undergraduate years.

There are roughly 5,000 students living in the residence halls, but almost 25,000 students attending CSU. That means that during the school year, almost 20,000 students are living in the surrounding Fort Collins area.

Perhaps the majority of the city council members have forgotten the financial hardships that come with being a college student.

So if my car broke down (and it did), and the closest bus route to cheaper houses had an average travel time of 37 minutes to campus (and it did), then I would logically look for a house closer to campus so that I could walk.

The only house I did find that fit all of my requirements was a five-bedroom home.

Because of the “you plus two” rule, however, two bedrooms in my house sit empty, draining my pockets of money that could very easily be provided by two responsible (tax contributing, I might add) residents of Fort Collins.

I understand the school is not responsible for the city’s decisions and actions.

I also appreciate people from the community taking the time to come and drop off information (I truly do).

But the students are the ones putting bread on the tables of CSU administrators and we’re the ones getting shafted. So where is the support from the school?

Only our extreme patience and love of being a Ram is keeping us in this town at this point. Why is it that every time the city passes an ordinance that hurts students in some way, the school seems to look the other way?

As a university, we should be a shining beacon of enlightenment, fair treatment and equality.

All of us on this campus need to stand together against the most pointless ordinance to ever sweep this town.

We, the students, are the life-blood of Fort Collins, and those who could never be affected by this law are the very ones who passed it.

I guess the bottom line is that the information provided about the law in the community handout just isn’t that helpful.

Either a student has already received it (before signing a lease), or they haven’t. If they have, then it’s obviously not needed.

But if you have not received it before this time, how helpful is it really? If you get information on occupancy limits one to two weeks after you move in, what do your options become at that point if you accidentally broke the ordinance? Homelessness?

If the city of Fort Collins feels that college students are just wild “quasi-adults” who are incapable of living in “herds” larger than three people, then just say so.

We’ll be happy to go, but we’re taking our money with us.

If that time comes, good luck selling your CSU paraphernalia, overpriced books and designer lattes. Ridiculous.

Christopher Wheeler is a junior biochemistry major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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