“You Owe it to the Families” A Letter to Father Jenkins

Dear Fr Jenkins,

Since silence from University Village has been interpreted by the University in the past as “everything is fine,” I wanted to respond to the email that Village residents were sent on 10/30 by the Office of Housing. After we had a frustrating meeting with Housing on 10/23, the email with more details for housing options was long anticipated, but its content was very disappointing.

I wanted to bring to your attention that the three apartment complexes (Cedar Glen, Hickory Village, and Waterford Glen) they suggest as affordable options for us have recent reviews like this:

“Don’t move here. They play nice like it’s a great area to live in but it’s not. There’s been multuple homicides here, drugs, shootings. They have mice. The people who work in the office are always gone for “training”. Awful place to live, don’t waste your money or time.”

“Rent just jumped up $70 . Been here 3 years heard gun shots 3x’s right outside my window. Watched my ex neighbor was selling cocaine out of his apartment. Not a safe place to live. Especially if you have kids.”

“Heating bills are too high during the winter because the windows are outdated, pay too much for stuff the place doesn’t open like the pool, and personal belongings are constantly stolen. Ask for any
thing to be fixed? They’ll take months to come or they won’t show up at all.”

“Horrible place to live! Electric bill was $500 three months in a row this winter… Or AC went out last summer and it was never fix. Rent is insane! We went threw five different property managers. The new management is rude! Nothing is kept up at all in the units on on grounds!!! Stay away from here!!!!”

“Terrible place to live , windows are drafty and outdated I was on the third floor and still was cold , the heat and air escapes so fast that the heat or air cuts right back on after cutting of 2mins ago, loud traffic all day especially when its warm, people who have been there awhile have big dogs that piss on the hallway floor and sometimes it smells like fecal matter or you just might find vomit lol, I had either crack heads or method addicts under me that fought and yelled all the time and throw stuff around . I left my apartment in condition except for a couple of pieces broken off the cheap blinds that easily broke and the carpet had a couple of stains that were already there when I moved in no pets and the rude evil property manager took my whole deposit and said I actually owed money.”

Places that consistently get bad ratings will of course be eager to house University Village families, but do you really want international families to have that type of experience during their time at Notre Dame? This cannot be how the University provides for those it includes in the “Notre Dame Family.” I would ask, on behalf of my neighbors, that you do all in your power to create better solutions for current residents. Family housing should be in the University’s 50-100 year plan, but in the meantime, one temporary solution could be to treat all current residents like those who qualify for grandfathered leases at Fischer. I believe Housing has a duty to all current residents since these families made the choice to come to Notre Dame assuming there would be some sort of safe, affordable option for their families, even after the closure of the Village (because of Notre Dame’s Catholic values). For prospective students, Housing can recommend whatever they want because those students can choose alternative universities, but for those who are already committed to this school – we would ask for a more acceptable arrangement.

I believe you when you say you want to support graduate students with families, that’s why I’m asking if there’s anything you can do to give us a better option.

Thank you for your consideration.

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