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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mailbag: Sept. 30

    Mini-dorms, not students in general, are the problem

    In response to “This or that: Mini-dorms — intrusive or ingenious?” (Sept. 22):

    Since the Wildcat is a student newspaper, I don’t normally find it appropriate to write in. But the discussion of mini-dorms on the editorial page on Sept. 22 moves me to correct some misconceptions.

    Residents of university area neighborhoods do not consider students to be invasive. This is a myth promoted by predatory landlords seeking to profit at all of our expense. Feldman’s Neighborhood, like mine, was not originally a student neighborhood. They and others have become so as the university has gobbled up more of central Tucson. My neighborhood is now 70 percent renters, most of them students who share vintage single-family homes or live in modest complexes like the one near me. In 12 years I have never had a single problem with residents of this well-kept eight-unit single-story complex.  This is in stark contrast to the nearby mini-dorm, with its all-night parties several nights each week and belligerent, disrespectful residents.

    While it is true that students — or anyone else — can behave badly in any type of housing, the mini-dorm’s bloated architecture broadcasts contempt for the historic form and scale of central Tucson houses and neighborhoods. Residents seem to pick up the message that anything goes and behave accordingly. It is not ingenious but dishonest to evade zoning by constructing de facto commercial properties in residential areas.

    In the long term, driving owner-occupants out of these neighborhoods could destabilize them to the point where it will not be a safe or desirable place even for student renters.
    To conclude, nearby neighbors are not anti-student. What we object to is the destruction of our historic neighborhoods by ugly McMansions that encourage chronic bad behavior.

    — Laura Tabili

    Associate professor, history

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