University housing isn't necessarily known for its value.
Cramped living spaces, overpriced rent, shared bathrooms, restrictive internet policies, whack RAs policing your every move, and all for roughly the same price as your college tuition itself (depending on the university) - doesn't really seem like much of a bargain if you ask me. So why would anyone want to live there?
Well, what if it was free?
And by free I mean you squat there while the university slaps you with a $94,000 lawsuit demanding you cough up unpaid residence hall charges.
That's what happened to 32-year-old former student Lisa S. Palmer, a Geography major who was enrolled in Hunter College who, according to the school's lawsuit, "immediately" failed to pay her dorm dues.
Palmer applied for summer housing but failed to qualify; she dropped out of school in 2016. Nevertheless, she stayed in the dorm room despite Hunter College's claims that they sent her numerous eviction notices and letters about owed residence fees. Warnings that the school's lawsuit alleges Palmer ignored.
Palmer, in an interview with Buzzfeed, says that she intends to fight the school's lawsuit and insists she doesn't owe Hunter College a dime.
Palmer went on to deny some of the allegations in Hunter College's lawsuit - specifically that she wasn't granted access to summer housing in 2016. She also says that she has a contract with the Office of Residence Life to back up her claims.
"I stayed during the summer of 2016 following the expiration of my spring 2016 housing contract because I was permitted to do so by the Dean of Housing and/or Office of Residence Life. I also signed a Summer 2016 housing contract."
When BuzzFeed pressed her for a copy of the contract, Palmer replied that she's saving it for her legal battle. She doesn't have a lawyer yet, however, because "none have met...[her] expectations in terms of their deduction ability."
Palmer says that the school removed her from the student roster a semester before she could graduate due to unpaid student fees and because they forced her to drop out, she shouldn't have to pay her student or housing fees, she told CBS2.
"I don’t think paying it off is realistic, and I also don’t believe that I should have to pay it off. I feel like every semester is a new opportunity to register for courses,” she added. “I think I should just stay and fight the case."
Palmer also mentioned that she was in "good academic standing" with the university, which means she maintained above a 2.0 GPA. Having good grades is one of the conditions Hunter College lists for granting residency on the campus.
Currently, Palmer's working two jobs and intends on staying in the dorms until she can re-enroll and finish her degree. The lawsuit filed by the school says they offered her residence in the dorms if she could pay her class fees and signed up for classes again.
Both of which, the college claims, Palmer has failed to do.
Depending on who you ask about the whole dorm room drama, Palmer is either well within her rights to stay put, or is gaming the system.
Some are arguing that all the dorms in Hunter are empty anyway and she's not taking up anyone's spot.
While others think that the $94k bill is ridiculously high, as Hunter is a state school with relatively low tuition rates.
Others think that the school's at fault - she couldn't register for classes because she couldn't get her student fees current.
While others just can't believe Palmer has been there for that long.
What do you think? Is Palmer right for sticking it to the overpriced university system? Or is she just trying to game it for free rent in Manhattan?
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