Representatives of the Botanic Gardens. Tenants Association (BGTA) met with President Bok and other University officials yesterday to ask for a repeal of rent increases at the Botanic Gardens development.
Bok promised to undertake "a thorough review" of faculty studies. Eugenia Guinier, a BGTA leader and the wife of Ewart Guinier. Professor of Afro-American Studies Emeritus, said last night.
Since the residents of the Botanic Gardens complex are Harvard affiliates--many of them junior faculty--the group has asked that salaries be taken into account in determining rent. Guinier said.
She added that Bok made no response to the other BGTA requests, including:
*That rent increases of approximately 22 per cent scheduled to go into effect this summer be repealed pending the salary study: and
*That BGTA representatives be included on a committee to discuss the proper rent structure for apartments in the development.
Bok and the other administration officials who met with the group--Joe B. Wyatt, vice president for administration, and Sally Zeckhauser, president of Harvard Real Estate--were unavailable for comment yesterday. The 22 percent increase scheduled for July follows a 19 per cent jump last year, and tenants say the rent hikes have far outpaced salary increases. The BGTA said in a letter to Bok last week that HRE should "abandon" its attempts to make money from the faculty housing, and instead continue to subsidize the development.
This is not a passing disturbance on the part of a few tenants; we are a large group threatened with survival as residents of the Cambridge area." Ron Slaby, a BGTA member and a Currier House tutor, said Sunday