Kent State staff, children and students older than 25 live in dorms across campus

Alyssa Morlacci

David Haas lives in a two-bedroom apartment with his girlfriend and 14-month-old son; he is almost 30 years old and has never paid a utility bill.

Haas said he is one of few residence hall directors who live with domestic partners or roommates in on-campus housing. He has lived on the first floor of Wright Hall in Tri-Towers for two years. When Haas walks to work — about 10 steps away from his home — his girlfriend either stays home with their son or goes to the classes she is taking at the university.

Haas enjoyed being a residential assistant so much when he was a student at Marshall University that he decided he wanted to do it as a living, he said.

“There’s a lot of energy on a college campus that you’re not going to find working the nine-to-five somewhere else,” he said.

Haas said he doesn’t plan on retiring as a RHD, but he is happy with his living situation the way it is now.

“I loved college and I wanted to stay,” Haas said. “So, I found a way to do that. Four years was just a little blip in my life, it went by so fast.”

There isn’t an age restriction for students wanting to live in the residential halls and Haas said the oldest resident that he knows of has been 28 years old.

Gerald Wilson is a 27-year-old freshman exploratory major who lives in Leebrick Hall.

Wilson said he had setbacks when it came to pursuing secondary education. He decided to live in on-campus housing in order to use financial aid and to avoid commuting from Cleveland. He enjoys living in Tri-Towers, he said, and has never thought of himself as too old to live in the residence hall.

Students who are older than 21, of junior status or have a family can also live in the Allerton Apartments. Brian Hellwig, assistant director for residential safety and security, said this facility currently houses 20 undergraduate family units, eight graduate family units and nine international families. These include 25 children ages infant to seven and eight children ages eight to 18.

Many nontraditional students who have families and live on campus will need to find a new housing option when the Allerton Apartments close in summer of 2015.

Haas explained the decision to close the Allerton Apartments as a way to focus the university’s priority for housing first and second year students.

“There’s a housing requirement that if you’re a first or second year student, you have to live on campus … To accommodate those students with the spaces we have, we have to make sure those spaces are going to be conducive to those students,” Haas said.

Contact Alyssa Morlacci at [email protected].