CHICAGO (CBS) — A longtime University of Chicago employee said the school is forcing him to move out of his on-campus apartment, even with an eviction moratorium in place – and even though he has never been late on rent.
So what’s the issue? CBS 2’s Lauren Victory explained Friday morning.
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Sid Colton has decades of service at the University of Chicago behind him, and he has made a lot of memories.
He is a graduate, a superfan, and a longtime employee. His first job was at a campus library, starting back in 1975.
Wearing maroon shoes, a maroon jacket, and a UChicago hat, the 70-year-old kept and shared an old business card with CBS 2. He has lived, breathed and worked for the school, full- or part-time, for 45 years – so long, that Colton has a U of C pension and an apartment in staff housing.
“I love the campus,” Colton said. “I have my dog. We walk. She looks out the window.”
But Liddie the dog’s view might soon be changing.
“It was awful! It was like being hit in the stomach,” said Colton about a letter that arrived earlier this month from the University. It informed him that he is no longer eligible for staff housing because he is no longer a University employee.
He told CBS 2 his most recent part-time job was eliminated because of COVID shutdowns that affected several positions across campus.
“I want to stay here and it was unfair for them to ask me to leave,” Colton said.
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A U of C spokesperson told CBS2 that Colton can stay in his place if he finds another school gig.
“I did apply and probably will be hired in two weeks,” said Colton of another position on campus.
But if that doesn’t work out, come June 30, he’ll be kicked out by his beloved alma mater.
“Oh, it’s incredibly hurtful,” Colton said.
An email between Colton and the school’s Campus Services and Residential Properties Department shows a proposal by the university to credit his June rent “in an effort to relieve some of the pressure from relocating.”
In another email, there’s an offer of $250 for moving supplies.
Here is the official statement from the U of C Communications team:
“Occupancy in the 6019 S. Ingleside Ave. residence is limited to current University affiliates, such as faculty, staff, and students. This is due to the University’s status as a nonprofit institution and the building serving to advance the University’s mission.
“Mr. Colton is no longer employed by the University and no longer meets the qualifications to enter into a new lease with the University. Mr. Colton was given a notice that the University would not be renewing his lease for this apartment, which was done more than 60 days prior to the expiration of his current lease, in compliance with Chicago city ordinance. The University provided Mr. Colton with a listing of nearby residential properties that do not require a University affiliation. If Mr. Colton becomes reemployed by the University, he can apply for a new lease at the Ingleside Ave. residence.”
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Colton does not want to leave, so his search for a campus job continues.