House-hunting tips

Moving off campus can sound like an appealing option for college students. No more eating off the meal plan, dealing with awkward RAs or abiding by open dorm hours. Nevertheless, students can sometimes run into several obstacles when it comes to getting the keys of their new apartment.

Senior Hilary Eash began to look for her own place to share off campus during the last semester of her junior year. After her first living plans fell through on the last day of finals, she wasted no time and by the end of the summer had booked a place to live in.

Unfortunately things did not go accordingly and due to health reasons she moved out during finals last semester.

Currently Eash is proud to report that not only is she living with the parents of a staff member but she is also in a healthy environment.

“They not only treat me like a daughter but are also supportive of me and that helps a lot,” she said.

According to director of housing Andre Broquard, students must live up to six semesters on campus, with the exception of being married or living with parents, before making the choice to reside off campus.

Though the University is at full housing capacity Broquard said there is still room on campus for upperclassmen who decide to stay. This is possible through a balance that is created when students depart after graduation and the size of the freshmen class. As of right now there are 916 students living in campus housing, which is 23 less than last semester.

In the past the school has tried to accommodate the needs of seniors by offering a declining meal plan to those that have 90 hours or more. According to Broquard, seniors deciding to stay on campus have a greater convenience because they do not have to pay for room and board for the months of June and July.

“Eight to nine month leases are not common, usually students have to sign for the full 12 months,” he said.

As far as talk of building more apartment-style housing, he said they are just in the preliminary conversation stage. Plans to build will not occur until the Board of Directors and President Pollard give the approval.

Though Eash’s transition has been a rough one, she said it has definitely been worth it to finally have a “sanctuary” where she can come after a rough day.

She advises students to not only find a group of encouraging individuals to live with but also to look at the place before agreeing.

“You want to have a place where you can relax and do homework with ease,” she said. “But above all you want to live with a group of friends that will support and encourage you.”