There is a huge outrage among Indian students in University of Texas at Dallas after an article was published in their college newspaper. It highlights how students break the rules and share the apartment.
Article by ANWESHA BHATTACHARJEE highlights how students from India share apartments illegally.
The story on the inside is a little different, however. If you were to arrive unannounced to many Indian student-leased apartment on campus, you would find more than the legal number of residents living within.
A single bedroom apartment would have at least four or five people cramming in. Their belongings would be sprawled all over, and beds made out of mattress pads or comforters would be placed in different areas of the bedroom. There would be shoes of varied sizes strewn around the entrance to the apartment and kitchen cabinets would be bursting to the seam. Not all apartments look like that, but most do.
I’m not taking one specific sides here. I’m seeing this from neutral perspective and giving my opinion.
Author of the article has highlighted the rule breaking going on among students from India. But, the way she presented her argument could have been different. You don’t have to compare students from India to Slumdog Millionaire
One look at all of that, and you’d think Indians are a bunch of poor people just like in Slumdog Millionaire — they sleep on the floor, they live five to an apartment and save on food. Nothing, however, could be farther from the truth. Many of them are, in fact, some of the more privileged Indians, who can afford to pay for their own education abroad without financial aid.
I read several comments posted by students in UTD and other college students.
I’m just cannot digest some of the comments. Here are few snippets
… 2 Bhk can have only 2 students. It’s so funny, in a 1 Bhk at Waterview 2 students are not allowed but 2 dogs are allowed.
And do u think these on-campus apartments dont know this issue?… Few years back, the rent of 1bhk at Waterview was around 450 bucks which is increased to 600 today. Reason: They know that many students stay in an apt and they wont mind if you increase the rent. If they know how to exploit students, students know their way to defend ourselves.
You have written this article without complete thought and no objectivity. Your entire article is based on the assumption that because people are able to pay 12000$ fee every semester they can pay 400 – 600$ on rent. But do you know that 90% of the students who come here take a bank loan back home. A loan which takes years for each student to pay off. In these circumstances every student will look to limit his expenses here such that he may save. You do not understand that fact this not only affects students but also families who have shell out money such that their kids may study here.
That means for every penny we spend over here about 50 times the pressure back home. Even then we try to make things work out in every way possible. I think you can add a few more adjectives to Indians – sacrificing and industrious.
Article is about students breaking the law/rules.
But, the comments highlight the reasons to why we are breaking the law.
I definitely agree that its expensive to pay the rent when apartment is not shared. But, why are you guys coming out with reasons to to why you are breaking the law?
- Didn’t you show financial proof that you can afford to pay the cost of higher education in USA (twice)?
- Didn’t you enter into US after knowing that, if you break the law, you are responsible for it?
So, you guys are breaking the rules, why argue in support of that?
Here is another comment that express the view I have.
bombastic tomatoes writes
It’s funny how stand-up comedy shows are full when an Indian makes fun of Indians in the open in front of the whole world and we are so proud of it that we laugh our nuts out … of course in humour … but when someone is trying to address the real issues … 1000’s are ready to throw tomatoes at him … give him a break.
Probably, same set of students who have posted comments with reasoning to why rules are broken should have supported Anna Hazare.
When an article throws light on the real issue of law breaking, they attack the author.
To the person who wrote,
Reason: They know that many students stay in an apt and they wont mind if you increase the rent.
Welcome to USA. That’s how apartments work. If you feel nearby on-campus apartments are not safe to stay, what is preventing you from moving to safer location and commute to college from there?
University is not welfare organization. they own the space and they are going to charge the rent according to the market.
What would you say about paying rent, if you were to attend USC, IIT?
I know its tough for students to afford to pay rent, when they don’t have RA,TA or scholarship. But, I don’t agree to arguments made by students in anger. If you made a mistake by breaking the rules, then stay low, don’t shout in public forums (even with fake names and ids).
What Happens Next?
Maybe students should have asked the author to post an apology in the paper for tone of her article.
Author might write an follow article with an apology.
But, with outrage shown in comments, she conveyed the message with much bigger impact and comments proved they are breaking the rules.
- What if campus managers walked into apartments uannounced
- What if they compare the address from student records to see how many students share same address?
Lessons to Prospective Students
I debated if I have to post this thread, but issues like this will not be apparent to parents or prospective students. When you board the flight, you will be unaware of such issues.
As I said before – International Students in USA are Unique and this is one other example. Be it right or wrong, you learn to stay far away from your home, adopt the situations, face challenges and overcome them.