Protect the Homes and Habitat of Historic Maguire/UVS Villages: Stop the Demolition!

Our Stories

“It is very unfair the UF decided to demolish these housing options for the future graduate students, preventing them affordable housing options. They have completely kept this in dark from the graduate students for so long, until the very end. I am probably not going to be affected by this decision as I will graduate before, but this is an absolutely unfair treatment to graduate students by UF, and I will be sure to mention how UF treats its graduate community to any perspective students from my country. Furthermore, UF is demolishing ~34% of all graduate housing units to build a sports complex, while not giving any alternative option and inaccurately claiming the units of a high costly, private owned apartment complex into its graduate housing capacity. Absolutely unethical and unprofessional of the UF administrators to do so.”

“I picked graduate housing since it is located in a great, family friendly environment, which we felt more safe and secure.”

UF clearly doesn’t care about us or the undergrads. They only care about money. Now that I’m done with the PhD I realize this has been so traumatizing- I can’t believe I let a big company treat me like sh*t for 8 years. They made our apts quarantine zones. They don’t care. We shouldn’t support this corrupt system.

For graduate students especially with dependents, Graduate housing provides an affordable and convenient housing solutions. The current demolishing plan of two major housing facility will have negative economic impact for graduate students. This affordable housing also help to keep the family together. Financial stability is an important aspect of balancing the difficulties of the graduate studentship period. I hope UF authority will also be able to realize the importance.

I’m a single mom from a low income family. GFH made it possible for me to even start school and I would not have been able to finish without it. It also helped me feel part of the community at UF which is hard to do here as an older parent. I also know how vital this place is to international and low income students. Student-parents are an invisible group and it’s easy to ignore needs for. We aren’t counted. As someone who worked on student-parent issues for years, getting our resources thrown away for profits and a meaningless metric and title has been painful the see. I am leaving the university feeling that none of my efforts mattered. The secretive nature and what seemed like blatant misdirection about it all made it hurt even worse.

The presence of my apt at on campus housing was the main factor that enabled me to came back to the US and continue my studies successfully after I had an extreme hardship that locked me away from UF and the US for 7 months just in the middle of my program.

Affordable housing on campus is very important for graduate students as they’re getting paid so little. A similar housing unit close to the campus will cost at least 30% more.

Maguire and UVS are the best places I have ever lived, bar none. There is ample space and amenities to raise a family. It is beautiful, safe, and affordable. I have seen it elevate many friends to great success in grad school, winning numerous awards, in no small part because having secure housing meant they could focus on their studies. Personally, originally living off-campus because on-campus was full, I have felt the vast difference in my academics and reduction in stress once I was able to move on-campus. This change has propelled me and been a wonderful change. These apartments are more than just buildings, they are a paradise and place to rejuvenate from the struggles of the rest of the world, and indeed are one of if not the greatest use of space on campus. Please do everything you can to save them for years to come. Thank you.

“I lived at Maguire Village for a little more than two years. The graduate housing was an affordable,
secure and convenient housing option that allowed me to have my private space while dedicating time
to classes, writing and then, preparing for my Ph.D. defense. I lived in few other places outside campus,
and I wish I had been able to secure an apartment on campus before. Back when I applied to housing in
2017, the demand was higher than supply and it took a little while until I was able to find an apartment.
My monthly stipend during my degree was paid through a foreign sponsor and was inferior to most of
my peers, which precluded me to have a personal vehicle and living on campus made a lot of difference
on being able to use my time better and dedicate myself to the busy work and study schedule that was
required. I have good memories shared with friends on that space and think the sense of community
was strong. I hope other students with less favorable economic conditions continue to be able to find
support through opportunities of housing like this for them and their families.”

“I originally had plans to get at least a master’s degree from UF but into my time [getting a Bachelor’s degree] I had reconsidered, mostly due to the direction I watched the university go down. I watched UF expand in pursuit of higher standing amongst the ranks of public institutions while neglecting student mental health services and housing crisis. I have known several classmates struggle with mental health without much ability to seek help due to how overwhelmed the counseling and wellness staff is, which is relegated to the outskirts of campus with facilities services. Recent decisions to remove graduate student housing, such as Maguire village, is exacerbating an affordable housing crisis in Gainesville. It is hard to find a place to live here for under $800 a month and according to US HUD, rent should be no more than 30% of income which would mean UF grad students need a post-tax income of at least $28,800 and I know they are not. This problem is widespread as both I and my roommates have heard from a majority of academic collogues at the university looking for opportunities elsewhere, especially following the expert witness scandal.  I have also seen much turnover in both TEAMS’s employees and academic staff citing low pay and artificially made roadblocks to advancement. As a result, I have found employment and higher education elsewhere as well I write because UF has been a great research institution in the past and I wish not to see it wither due to lack of graduates and coast downward aloft from past reputation. Florida needs good sources of academic support to keep from following the academic trend of other southern US states.”

“UF needs to realize that graduate and family student housing is a huge benefit for students. Living in Maguire Village from 2000-2006 allowed my husband and I to pursue our undergraduate (for him) and graduate (for me) degrees, begin a family and not fall into huge amounts of debt. The low rent, family atmosphere, and international community allowed us to make friends that we still treasure today.  My son was born while we lived there in 2003. I remember our many events, from International Coffee House to Village meetings, trick or treating, Chinese New Year, Hispanic Heritage celebration, swimming lessons, etc. I served as mayor for several years, helping residents to have their concerns addressed by housing.  My husband worked in the village office as well. Our son made his first friends on the playgrounds at Maguire and UVS.  My son is now applying to colleges including UF, and part of our campus visit in August was to visit Maguire Village. Having that connection to UF made him even more eager to apply. The village needs upkeep and maintenance right now, not demolition. The parklike atmosphere, acreage and trees need to be protected. It is a beautiful green space on a campus that is increasingly becoming less green.”

“During my PhD, I was living in the University village south (UVS) which is one of the UF graduate housing. The opportunity of living on campus made my PhD journey easy and safe. I did not have to worry about renewing my lease every year, or finding a new home. UVS houses are spacious and are located in the best part of Gainesville with easy access to gym, grocery stores, and restaurants. It has special places for kids’ playing which makes it a good option for families studying at UF. No matter how many graduate housings are in Gainesville, there are always requests to move into campus from the graduate students. I know these houses are old but destroying them is not an option while they can be renovated and reused by the students. Make the PhD and MS students’ lives easy, and safe with keeping and renovating UVS graduate housing.”

“I am a first-year graduate student at the University of Florida. I submitted my application and paid the $25 application fee. Upon submission of my application, I received notification that the current wait for an apartment was 6-12 months. However, wait times could be longer than 12 months depending on preferences. I recently checked my application (January 2023) and the new notification states that the current wait for an apartment in Corry, Diamond, and Tanglewood is 12-14 months from the time of application. As of January 30, 2023, there are 770 actively interested students looking for an apartment. I do not have any preferences selected, so my application is rather straight forward.  The website states that Maguire/UVS is no longer an option. I was unaware that 300 empty rooms are currently available. I have been waiting for approximately one year and have not had any updates about the status of my application, room availability etc. Living on the graduate student stipend causes financial stress, and the option for graduate housing would have alleviated that stress. By the time I decided to commit to UF, most of the off-campus housing (apartments, rental homes etc.) did not have any available units to rent. I found an apartment 3 weeks before the first day of class, and the rates were much higher.”

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