UMass student speaks out against dorm room charge

One student is speaking out about a charge she’s facing for not needing a dorm room this year.
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 7:40 PM EDT
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AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Classes start soon for college students in western Massachusetts, but for 120 students at UMass Amherst, instead of moving into their dorms, they’ll be given a key to a hotel room due to a housing shortage on-campus.

However, one student is speaking out about a charge she’s facing for not needing a dorm room this year. Gabriella Goldin was upset to hear students will be staying at a Hadley hotel as she tries to come up with the money to pay a cancellation fee for on-campus housing.

Goldin is going into her junior year at UMass Amherst. Back in the spring, she agreed to live with a roommate on-campus, but she then found out about the overcrowding and dorm shortage the university was experiencing.

“To find out that there’s going to be, like, almost double the amount of kids per floor, I don’t want to live there,” Goldin said.

She told Western Mass News she decided to find an off-campus housing option instead after she received an email that the school was waiving cancellation fees.

“I guess they had a shortage and they were saying if you don’t want to live in there, we are incentivizing you and you won’t be charged money,” Goldin explained.

However, when she called to cancel her on-campus room, she said she was told that it would be $600 to cancel and that waiving the cancellation fee was only for a short period of time. Now, that’s money she can’t afford to spend.

“I just don’t have the money to pay that off,” Goldin noted.

Now, she wants to know why she has to pay that fee when the demand for on-campus housing is so high, especially since school officials said 120 students will be staying in a hotel in Hadley to start the school year. They said that’s due to a large number of upperclassmen wanting to live on-campus and a large freshman enrollment this year.

“Kids are living in hotels. There are people being denied housing completely. People need to live there. It doesn’t make sense that I would have to pay,” Goldin added.

We reached out to the university for comment on this specific situation, but we have not yet heard back.