Biggest clusterfudge: Aspen Heights

Maneater File Photo

Oh, Aspen Heights. You’ve only been with us a year, and what a year it’s been.

We’ll start chronologically. Aspen Heights’ very existence, which came at the expense of the Regency Mobile Home Park, was shrouded in controversy. But for simplicity’s sake, we’ll turn our focus to events from the past school year.

First, there was the move-in fiasco of 2013. We get it, February 2013’s Snowpocalypse blindsided everyone, but construction delays to the point of not being ready to move in hundreds of students was downright dismal for everyone involved. There were also complaints about unfinished features in some students’ houses.

Some displaced students were forced to live in temporary housing until as late as October. On the bright side, the whole move-in debacle brought us the Aspen Heights Columbia Parents and Tenants' Forum, a passionate, if slightly overzealous, watchdog group of angry parents and students on Facebook.

Then there was the crime. It started not long into the school year, with an armed robbery reported Aug. 30. From there, we saw further complaints about crimes from parents and students. A shots-fired incident at a rowdy party Oct. 6 sent the whole complex into a lockdown of sorts: House parties were banned and enforced with a $600 fine, guests were limited and the old gate code system was abandoned in favor of (less shareable) gate clickers.

Despite the new rules, a rape was reported at the complex in November, and the semester closed out with another armed robbery.

To Aspen Heights management’s credit, things have been a lot quieter over at the complex during the spring semester. Some residents reported outrageously high utility bills, but complex management later instituted a monthly utility cap of $75 for the remainder of the winter months and later extended the cap into spring. In response to the complex’s crime issues, management held a community forum on crime in February that only seemed 50 percent like a public relations ploy.

But no matter how quiet things have been at the complex recently, it’s unlikely students will soon forget this year’s crazy ride.

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