Living off campus has its ups and its downs

Lauren Frankovich

To live on campus or not to live on campus? That is the question for many students this time of year.

Contracts and leases may not be up yet, but that shouldn’t stop students from thinking about next year’s living arrangements. Students are faced with a decision because on and off campus housing have both advantages and disadvantages.

Betsy Joseph, director of Residence Services, said many students choose to live on campus because it is convenient. When students live on campus, they have access to a variety of resources, Joseph said.

According to university policy, most students are required to live on campus their first two years unless they meet certain requirements.

Janice Gillis, a junior dance performance major, said she chose to live on campus because “everything you need is in walking distance.”

Gillis said she doesn’t have a car on campus, so living on campus was the best option for her.

Gillis said she lived in the residence halls during her freshman and sophomore years, too. Even though there are some disadvantages to living in the halls, Gillis said she plans to live on campus during her senior year. She said she wants to live in a single room so she can have more time to herself.

Gillis said living in the residence halls is the best way to go. She said if she has a problem, the university can help.

“You’re on your own off campus,” Gillis said.

Gillis said one disadvantage of living in the residence halls is she sometimes feels cramped.

“You just want your own space,” Gillis said.

Jomarie SanFilippo lived in the residence halls for two years. Now, the junior fashion merchandising major lives in a duplex with four other girls.

SanFilippo said one advantage of living off campus is personal access to a washer and dryer.

Gillis said she doesn’t have trouble accessing a washing machine in the residence halls. She said the only problem she has when it comes to doing laundry is the price.

One of SanFilippo’s roommates, Heather Cicconi, said living off campus is “like having a life again.” Cicconi, a junior fashion merchandising major, said she felt stuck in her room when she lived on campus.

Cicconi said one advantage of living off campus is she doesn’t have to move her belongings in and out over breaks and worry about leaving something behind. SanFilippo said when she lived in the residence halls and went home over breaks, she felt like she had to pack her life because “it’s being locked up for a month.”

SanFilippo said a disadvantage of living off campus is driving to campus and finding a place to park.

Cicconi said she does not miss wearing flip-flops in the bathroom, but she does miss the food from Eastway. She said it was easier to eat on campus because the meals were already prepared. Cicconi and SanFilippo both said they ate healthier when they lived on campus.

Joseph said students who live on campus often feel “more connected to the university.” Their friends are also in close proximity, she said.

SanFilippo said she enjoys living in a duplex better, but the residence halls were a good experience.

“It’s how you meet your friends,” she said.

Contact transportation reporter Lauren Frankovich at [email protected].