The Marq oversells units, worries students


Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

The Marq oversold 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom units.

Concerns surrounding university apartments arose last week, after some students received emails saying The Marq apartment building oversold 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom units.

Kelsey Stockton, assistant director of university apartments and off-campus services, said the 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom units were not oversold by the university, but rather The Marq’s previous ownership.

“From the information we received, those units were already overbooked by the time the transition happened, and so (the previous ownership) had already been in touch with tenants about trying to shift people into different unit types that were similar but agreeable to them,” Stockton said.

She added thatThe Marq is working through the process to make sure everybody has a space accounted for.

Some students signed leases with The Marq before Marquette purchased the building from its previous owners in mid-October. Natalie Waltz, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said she signed early to secure a desirable room layout.

“I think my roommates and I were kind of shocked to receive (the email) because we had been very proactive signing our lease in early September, wanting to get on top of things and making sure that we were done with it,” Waltz said. “We had chosen that unit for a specific reason and weren’t really willing to switch.”

The university reached out to students in the 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom units and found that some had already been moved to different units by the previous ownership, Stockton said.

“We do have some kind of flexibility of looking at where space is right now to make sure that everybody at least who had something in plan there is still able to have a space at The Marq, but it might change exactly what that unit type is,” she said. “We’re reaching out to people to see who already had been moved or who voluntarily may want to move to a different unit type.”

The roommates replied to the email with a request to remain in the 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom unit they originally agreed to, and they got an email days later confirming their spot.

Waltz said she appreciated the university reaching out, asking if they were willing to move and confirming they did have the unit, but that she is still confused about pricing.

Mike Thayer, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, and one of his roommates, Dhruva Murali, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, also received the email.

“We were a little concerned about whether our lease would change at all,” Murali said. “When we went to The Marq, they actually told us that they were locked out of the system now, and that it’s all through Marquette housing, so we didn’t get any confirmation from them.”

Murali said they eventually got confirmation from Marquette housing that their lease would stay the same.

“We had to do some work on our part, especially because they didn’t have our roommate assignments, and they didn’t know whether they were going to be able to get us the room we signed up for,” Murali said.

Like Waltz and her roommates, Murali, Thayer and their third roommate replied to the email saying they wanted their original room layout. A couple days later, they received their official room assignment.

“It was confusing at first, but we got it figured out,” Thayer said.

Next year, The Marq will be part of the standardized university housing selection process instead of signing tenants on a rolling basis, Stockton said. She said having The Marq under the university’s system will prevent double-booking.

Although there has been some confusion about students’ original lease prices with The Marq, Stockton said students’ lease prices will not change.

“Anything that was formally executed by the previous group before the sale will continue to be honored as it was signed,” she said.

During sign-up times, The Marq was the only university-owned apartment with 2018-2019 rates posted online for students to see.

Samia Haseeb, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences who plans to live in Campus Town East next year, said she was unable to compare apartment rates.

“It was definitely kind of frustrating just because my parents are the ones paying for my rent or helping me pay for it,” Haseeb said. “So it’s just frustrating not having all the information for them because that’s a key factor of me choosing where I can live.”

The apartment rates are set in line with other aspects of the university budget, Stockton said.

“The rates typically are in the process of being set now and then are finalized and confirmed through the Board of Trustees and announced by the president,” Stockton said. “We’re just waiting for the president’s letter which would confirm that, which typically comes out by January.”

Although students reserved a spot in an apartment unit during their designated online sign-up times, students are not legally bound to a lease if they are unhappy with finalized apartment rates, Stockton said. Lease-signing will be held off until rates are posted.

“That way they can tour the unit, know what the rates are and just know fully what they’re agreeing to before they sign anything,” Stockton said.