AUSTIN, TEXAS —In a statement to Austin City Council, UT President Greg Fenves has announced the planned construction of a tent city just outside the city limits of Austin for low-income students after Oracle Corporation announced plans to gentrify the last remnants of affordable housing on Riverside.
“This is a remarkable opportunity for certain students to prove their commitment to our University through carrying on as normal despite diminished living conditions and a much lengthier commute to campus,” noted Fenves at a press conference as he endorsed an absurdly large check from some billionaire donor – more than enough to shore up low-cost housing for students soon to be displaced from the only decently-priced housing near campus – to be used for scoreboard renovations at DKR Stadium.
This announcement comes in response to Oracle’s plans to demolish current student residential spaces on Riverside and replace them with superfluous upscale housing and expanded facilities. Critics and those capable of empathy have argued against the move, saying that it would remove most UT students from the area and inflate the housing market for those that already live there.
“While it is unfortunate that this move will displace most of our more vulnerable student base, at UT, we are confident that they will be able to get by through either going into debt just to pay off a signing lease in West Campus, or living in even worse conditions at the edge of the known universe in Pflugerville,” said the released statement, written on behalf of one of the largest and most powerful lobbying bodies in Austin, one that has proved itself completely capable of muscling the city into achieving what the University deems truly important.
While most students with a stake in this decision have expressed dismay at yet another wealthy corporation exploiting the vulnerable while the city focuses its blind eyes away toward the rising quality of life for those living in a gentrified luxury – complete with $15 sandwich shops and novelty vape shops – there remain some students in support of the move.
“So what if a corporation infringes upon people’s ability to find housing? It’s time for these students to pull themselves up by the bootstraps,” said finance senior Boo Sic O’Fant, president of the Young Conservatives branch at UT and the son of very rich lawyer. “You don’t see me complaining about high rent prices: me, a young, privileged kid still living off his parents’ wealth.”
“Listen, we could talk about how this Oracle decision acts as a microcosm of a much larger movement across the country toward a massive wealth inequality that will push us into another Gilded Age, but I’ve been told that might piss off my donors,” concluded an indifferent Fenves. “We don’t want to piss off our students either, so to offset the consequences of losing out on housing that’s even remotely close to campus, we’ll, uh, have the busses not run so late anymore or something.”
At press time, the process of creeping gentrification has begun after the Taquerias Arandinas on Riverside has been replaced with a Hard Rock Café.