Students Explore Housing Options

Ellen Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief

The campus housing lottery is months away but students are already wondering where they are going to live next school year.

One of the biggest debates among students is whether or not off campus housing is a good move for them.

Assistant Director of Residence Life AJ Nudo believes this decision varies according to the needs of each student.

“It’s a different experience living off campus, not to say it’s a good or bad experience, any experience is truly what you make of it,” he said.

Nudo wants students who are considering moving off campus  to think of the impact of many factors before making a decision: Cost, commute, meals, landlord, and location are some of the issues that students should carefully consider.

“It’s a style of independent living. I think it does force you to be more responsible because you are responsible for that place and you are signing a contract with a landlord,” he said. “Maybe you’re paying bills for the first time because the landlord requires that you cover utilities, and maybe you’re worried about your electric bill or your water bill and how much water you’re using.”

Junior medical imaging major Alyssa Gotzman moved off campus with a friend from her major after her sophomore year. They found an apartment nearby, and she said it’s working out for them so far.  The two said the move made summer clinicals more manageable.

“It was helpful for us because we moved our stuff in and kept it there until the fall,” she said. “It was just easier so I didn’t have to keep moving in and out, in and out.”

But they have encountered snags they didn’t expect. With classes in session and their friends still on campus, they sometimes find it hard to stay in touch.

“You have to really make an effort to see your friends that live on campus,” she said. “I miss my friends on campus and going into their rooms every night just to hang out or watch a TV show.”

Gotzman also said traveling to campus for school functions or to the library can be difficult. She said it can be a “hassle” to have to drive back to campus.

“I just think because I was so used to living on campus that it’s taking some time to get used to,” she said.

Gotzman said she likes the privacy in her Country Club Apartments space, but she has to be more aware of her neighbors. Her apartment is sandwiched between other Misericordia students and a family with children.

“Living outside of just a student environment is different.  You have to be cautious about the families and little kids that live around you.”

The Dallas area is different for off campus housing compared to regions with larger schools like Penn State University or Temple University, Nudo said, because larger universities tend to have off campus areas full of students who don’t have to worry as much about keeping quiet because of their neighbors.

“In Dallas you may have a rental and then all private homes around you,” he said. “You have to be more mindful of the people around you, not that you shouldn’t be mindful of your fellow students here on campus, but if you’ve got a house next to you that’s got four kids, you may have to keep your noise down.”

Living in a residential area, or anywhere off campus for that matter,  provides students with some valuable lessons, including personal safety. Nudo reminds students that in the event of an emergency our problem, they they need to remember that they cannot call Campus Safety.  They must call the police.

“It can teach you some good values.  Iit can get you prepared for some things you need to know later on, but I think that if you’re looking for a college experience, that is [on campus],” he said. “The college experience [exists] in what the school can provide for you.”

If an off campus student does decide to return to campus housing, the process becomes tricky, Nudo said. Students are placed on waiting lists, and Residence Life hasn’t offered housing to students on last year’s list because of the high number of incoming students.

“You can try to get back on but it’s not easy. With our housing situation right now we are very, very limited in availability and housing.”

[email protected]