It is no secret that i loath the BYU Off Campus Housing Office. BYU has a lot of great things, i wouldn't be starting my 3rd senior year if that wasn't true, but the housing lacks even the most common sense.
A little background: this one time my terrible landlord did a slue of illegal things and then topped off my tenancy with threatening to ruin my credit and put a hold on my academic account at BYU (neither of which she had power to do anyway). I spoke with BYU OCH (Off Campus Housing) about my problems at least 4 times and they never helped me. Even though my landlord changed the locks without telling me, which left me locked out in the middle of the night with nowhere to go, the only thing BYU said was, 'well if you go to court and win let us know and then we will help you.'
Needless to say i went to court and won. It was glorious, my old landlord looked like a babbling fool. Her only defense was that: everyone hates Bethany so it was okay that i treated her like crap too. (don't worry, not everyone hated me, just those two roommates that i never care to see again if i live to be 107).
If you want the full story on housing issues at BYU and what I presented to the OCH, go to this blog post.
That was all a while ago.
I had been to BYU OCH at least a dozen times since the beginning of my problems until last fall. After having a meeting with the entire OCH staff and telling them that said landlord even lost a master key to the complex and hadn't re keyed (the key was missing for 18 months before she recovered it, still she did not re-key the apartments), having a very candid phone conversation with Garry Briggs-where he pretended like he had no idea who i was even though i had been in his office less than a month ago presenting for an hour to his staff, talking to the rep over my old complex who said she wasn't sure of the laws regarding missing keys and therefore they weren't going to do anything, and then reading an article in the Daily Universe about housing, i decided to write a letter to the editor.
I thought that it was funny that on the same day this article was published i submitted my most recent housing waiver. I had forgotten about the letter since it was published almost two weeks after i wrote it, but it was very fitting that it was all the same day.
Meet my latest housing waiver that BYU approved today:
"Because of the many encounters I have had with the BYU Off Campus Housing office in the past two years and the lack of respect and due diligence on their part to keep me and my residential facility safe, I feel that I have no option but to not reside in housing that is affiliated with BYU, owned or accredited.
I have talked to every member of the OCH permanent staff, including attending and presenting at one of their weekly meetings. Though I brought a number of legitimate concerns and student complaints to them, they neglected to ever contact my landlord or follow up in any way to the allegations.
Once when speaking to Craig Thomas about my lackluster view of BYU Housing and that I did not feel safe living there and never would again, he simply replied, "I don't blame you."
And with that, I assume that there are no intentions of fixing any of the problems that students present, even when like me, they bring a court verdict in their favor from a recent law suit against their 'BYU Accredited' landlord. Because of this, I trust my own decision making skills over where I should reside and the safety of my residential unit, than that of BYU and an unit that they have not visited or reviewed in no one knows how many years.
In short: In the past I did not feel safe in my BYU Accredited unit and due to the lack of concern from the BYU OCH office, I feel that I cannot trust OCH opinion of which units provide appropriate living and safety standards."
I wonder if Craig Thomas or Garry Briggs saw either my letter to the editor or my waiver...