The Voices of UCI


Parkwood apartments after living in Stanford Court for a year. I’m a full time nursing student so I rely on loans. It really just feels unfair seeing how other students are struggling to be able to worry about being in debt to housing especially when we’re all about to graduate. Especially now in the middle of the year it’s hard to adjust our financial aid and would have to be put into further financial strain. Some people have lost their jobs and even the aid to help those financially is not enough. Some students don’t even get the stimulus check just because they’re considered dependents while their families have to use that towards other expenses. Even on top of loans I already know I have more fees to pay to register and be licensed in the career I’ve been working hard for during my time in college. It’s hard to believe that Irvine company cares about its residents even during this time. Even before this I remember their unwillingness to even partially reimburse the towing of my car for parking in a guest spot despite being a resident with my permit visible. I remember there were no resident spaces to park my car after a long day due to their construction of many of the car ports. I couldn’t even find any street parking as the whole street was occupied for a good 2-3 blocks. I even parked within my own community [which was in Stanford Court at the time] and they were not willing to discuss the $250 I had to take out of my savings just to get my car back after a long day of class and studying for a really important practical. At first I only thought of the more privileged things like senior portraits my family wanted, but recently the reality of having $600 worth of application and registration fees for my nursing license after graduation was on my mind.” 

                                                                                              -Eman, UCI student  

“The lease cancellation fee was $5204 if we wanted to leave within 30 days. I think food ended up being the biggest difficulty. Before financial aid came in, my fiancé and I were eating one meal a day. Part of it was out of fear for going outside, so delivery like Postmates became our primary way of getting food at $35+ per meal for the two of us. Before the CDC’s recommendation that we should be wearing masks, being Asian, we’d get weird looks when we wore them. So getting groceries in bulk was a very uncomfortable experience. On top of that, since we were moving, buying in bulk ran the risk of having to throw out what we couldn’t finish.”

                                                                                              -Ryan, UCI student

“Irvine is an expensive place to live in and I am lucky enough to have my parents help me make ends meet. However, since the outbreak, I lost my job and was unable to contribute to my portion of expenses. I did not want to put that burden on my parents so I decided to break my lease. The price was very high, about $1650 dollars which required me to take out a loan because I couldn’t afford it.”

                                                                                             -Marina, UCI Student 

“The termination fee is over 3,500 dollars and I haven’t been able to find housing because I have to pay UTC first. I have also been laid off , Instead of them excusing the lease fee they take the money any way they can. It’s so difficult to be able to pay for two homes, food, and bills during such a difficult time when the Irvine Company is a multi-million dollar company. It’s disgusting! “                                                                                                                                                        


“For context, I am a 4th year Nursing undergraduate at UCI and I was renting at the University Town Center apartment homes owned by the Irvine Company. I was prepared to live there for the extent of my lease… that was until the pandemic stay-at-home orders were issued. Drastic changes were being made left and right: the campus closed, the on-campus cafe that I worked at closed and I was laid-off, the hospital that I was doing my clinical rotations at closed their clinical opportunity to nursing students, and instruction was going to be conducted via Zoom. Sure, I was able to handle the changes that came with online instruction. What I wasn’t prepared for were expenses. How could I afford rent until September 2020 having lost my job? I decided it was best to end my lease with the Irvine Company, but I didn’t expect to pay nearly $9k just to do so. Now, I’m in a position where I have to decide what’s more important: buying groceries and affording my school expenses or paying off my lease fees. This is a ridiculous amount to charge college students who are independently supporting themselves and to make matters worse… this financial injustice is occurring during a pandemic!” 

                                                                                      -Summer, UCI Student 


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