As Lakeside project faces further delays, graduate students present concerns

GSG president Sean Edington, left, at a meeting about Lakeside concerns.
GSG president Sean Edington, left, at a meeting about Lakeside concerns.
Sameer A. Khan

Hundreds of graduate students will face another delay in moving into the University’s 15-building Lakeside housing complex, leading some to worry about academic and financial obligations.

On Sept. 19, Princeton sent an email to graduate students to inform them that because of “unforeseen circumstances in the construction process,” move-in could not take place until December 2014 or January 2015. John Ziegler, director of real estate development, said harsh winter conditions that slowed construction, and the resolution of “general code issues,” contributed to the delays. Move-in originally was expected to take place in the summer of 2014.

Princeton has offered several housing options to students, with many being placed in the Butler and Stanworth apartments. Those students have been promised two months of rent forgiveness and moving assistance. But some grad students say that they’d like more compensation to reflect the latest delay. “Because I had to put my things in storage, I am paying an extra $289 a month,” said Pam Mueller, a fifth-year psychology Ph.D. student who is living in temporary housing in Stanworth.

Graduate Student Government president Sean Edington said other concerns include flexibility in move-in dates to avoid conflicts with academic obligations, ensuring that maintenance issues at Butler and Stanworth are addressed, and obtaining monthly updates on the Lakeside project.

Students aired their frustrations at a special GSG meeting Sept. 24. Edington estimated that more than 100 grad students had reached out to the GSG with concerns in the 10 days following the University’s announcement.

Assistant Vice President for University Services Andrew Kane said that the University is working with the GSG to make moving to Lakeside “as smooth and supported as possible” and has agreed to send out a monthly update, beginning this month, but that he doesn’t foresee additional compensation for students in temporary housing.