The Board of Governors should be able to clearly articulate an answer to the question: What is Student Housing at UBC for?
In 2015-16, once the rent increases take effect, SHHS is forecast to pay a $7.8M dividend to the university administration. That’s about $728 for every person living in residence at UBC.
UBC wants to build new undergrad teaching labs which will cost $80M. As is the case with many campus building projects, UBC does not have $80M. So, UBC has concocted a plan to come up with $80M. There is some complicated financial wizardry afoot.
It is absolutely true that SHHS works on a cost neutral basis when considered as a self contained administrative unit. However, a lot of the costs that SHHS has to pay come from other parts of UBC – especially when it comes to capital costs. Because SHHS is part of UBC, UBC can require it to use other UBC resources, whether or not there are cheaper options available.
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