After tomorrow there is a good chance that the Student Legal Services will be picking up a larger population.

Instead of the Ann Arbor Tenants Union, which is now defunct to students due to lack of funding, as a resource for dealing with their landlords; students will now be directed towards both the Student Legal Services and the University’s Housing Department.

“We’re not taking over for the AATU, we’re doing what we’ve always done. The only difference might be we’ll have to do more of it,” Lewis said.

However, Lewis said he doesn’t believe the increase in students seeking these services will be one that would seriously set the organization back. He said if there is a drastic increase in people, the attorneys will either handle more cases or increase their staff.

“I think MSA is trying to replace the AATU with Student Legal Services. We don’t believe that is possible,” Executive director of AATU alum Amy Ament said. “There are not enough people (at Student Legal Services). Also there are a lot of problems that students come in with that don’t need a lawyer. It’s like going to an emergency room with a scraped elbow.”

But Lewis said that the University has other resources than the Student Legal Services when there are problems between tenant and landlord that do not require the use of an attorney.

“You could go to Ann Arbor Housing for mediation. There is a University Housing mediation service for mediation between students and landlords and students and roommates,” Lewis said.

Still, Ament said the AATU was far more accessible and convenient to students, giving advice over the telephone, e-mail and in person.

Lewis agreed that the AATU has a more interactive site than Student Legal Offices, but said they had never done advice through the medium of a website and still preferred people coming in for face to face consultations.

“The concept behind the AATU is exceptional, just the idea of uniting students to fight landlords in unfair conditions. But their inability to do so is the sole reason for its demise,” General Counsel for MSA Jason Mironov said.

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