Colorado Mesa University recently bought a house located at 896 Glenwood Ave. Last week, the tenants were served an eviction notice asking them to move out quickly. As said on Twitter by Jaylen Bishop, they were given less than four days to move out. This was, however, quickly followed by a second tweet stating that the issue had been resolved. Attempts to contact Bishop have not been returned.
“Over the last 20 plus years, the campus has been buying property as it becomes available within that footprint because unless we do, we become landlocked and are unable to grow,” Media Relations Director Dana Nunn said.
The property was purchased because it fell within the long-term expansion area for the school and it became available for purchase by the owner, Jeffery Aragon. The tenants had paid Aragon over $3,000 in advance for rent, according to Bishop. Since then, Aragon has been avoiding the tenants’ calls.
“The way it stands today, there are no students living in the house. One of the students pursued the opportunity to continue living in a college owned property,” Nunn said. “The other young men who were in that house were given the opportunity to do that, but even after an eviction notice was served on them, President Foster met with them.”
According to Nunn, the tenants never showed up to fill out the lease application after the school had bought the property, leading to the eviction notice. Even after the notice, however, Foster tried to give the tenants another chance to fill out the application, which was again rejected.
The house also has a high amount of damage. “There had been repeated issues at that house that involved law enforcement being called numerous times,” Nunn said.
According to Grand Junction Police Department’s public information officer Heidi Davidson, there have been 17 calls for service since June. According to a previous interview with Director of Campus Safety and Student Conduct Pua Utu, the tenants damaged the house even further throughout the last weekend they lived there. Further attempts to contact Utu have not been returned.
Despite everything, Foster and Utu have come up with options for the evicted tenants, including on-campus housing for some of the students.
“For most of us, someone gave us a second chance, so you want to pass that on, pay that forward, and I think President Foster went above and beyond the call of duty,” Nunn said. “We made every effort to accommodate and support those students. One took advantage and the others didn’t.”