Avalon closes its doors to new undergrads

Jamie DeLoma

Avalon Walk in Hamden has a new policy regarding full-time undergraduate students, effective immediately.

According to a letter that was sent to Avalon Walk residents by the management of the housing complex, excessive noise, parking issues, trash in breezeways, loud parties, littering in common areas and speeding caused the management at Avalon to change policy.

The new policy will not affect the apartments of undergraduate students already living at Avalon Walk nor the renewal of those apartments, granted the current occupants of those apartments remain in full compliance with Avalon Walk’s policies and procedures.

Under the new policy, several new rules will go into effect immediately, according to a letter sent out by Avalon:

1. Undergraduate students will no longer be able to roommate release and add on new undergraduate students to their existing apartment so they can keep the apartment.

2. These undergraduate students will be unable to give notice on one apartment in order to move into another apartment, thereby creating a new roommate situation.

3. Once a full-time undergraduate student moves out of an apartment, he/she will not be allowed to move back into the community.

4. Evictions will continue to take place on any apartments that are not in compliance with the policies at Avalon Walk.

Manuel Carriero, vice president and dean of students, said the decision of Avalon is “very disappointing for everyone concerned.” He said that the university “will do the best we can for our students.”

A spokesperson for AvalonBay Communities said there “have been numerous problems over time.” She said “we tried to work this through and to maintain a sense of community, but felt that we had to be concerned for the entire community.” The spokesperson, who would not give her name, said the problem occurred for several years and “has gotten to the breaking point.”

When asked why individual students were not evicted, she said “this is not an isolated incident, it goes back for some time; however, the community does regret that it had to take this action.”

She said the policy change is limited to just the Avalon Walk community in Hamden.

Dennis Kisyk, president of the Student Government Association, said, “We’re going to do something.” Although the precise course of action is still being decided, the SGA is working hard to ensure the best interests of the student body, according to Kisyk.

SGA is preparing to take the unprecidented action of trying to uphold student interests that lie off-campus. Kisyk said that although the student government has, “years ago,” endorsed candidates outside of the university who were sympathetic to the needs of Quinnipiac students, the body has never held a controversial meeting with the outside.

Kisyk reintereated that “a lot of work has to be done to ensure the interests of the students in town.”

Mark Antonnucci, vice president of student concerns in the SGA, said the “student government will do what is necessary to do what is needed.”

Erin Kempel, executive director, of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, said that “students are not protected from this sort of discrimination.” She said unless the apartment complex rejects all undergraduate students regardless of age, nothing is illegal is occurring.

Hamden Councilman Al Gorman said that “Quinnipiac will have some breathing time” as it is the beginning of the school year. He called the actions of Avalon “unfair to Quinnipiac students,” as well as students from other universities like Southern Connecticut State University and Yale University.

Councilman Gorman doubts that there is anything that Hamden can do to stop the banning of undergraduate students. However, he said that although the situation is “unfortunate,” the fact that Quinnipiac “over-enrolled” does not help the matter.

There are 764 units at Avalon Walk, a complex that was built in 1992. Rent ranges from $962 per month to upwards of almost $1600 per month depending on the specific rental.