Off-campus housing is still an option for students for the 2012-2013 school year.
On Thursday Feb. 2, a group of landlords joined together for an off-campus housing fair in the student center lobby from 5 to 8 p.m.
Alison Riley, the off-campus housing coordinator, said the first housing fair took place in the fall and was very productive.
“This second one was really driven by the landlords.”
She said there is a new group on Facebook for students to find information about off-campus housing.
She said,“Search KSC off-campus student relations and you’ll find it!”
Riley said this group is a great resource for information, events about off-campus housing will be announced here, and some landlords are even attached to the group.
“It’s great for students looking to move off campus,” Riley said.
She also mentioned some new events coming up, including two tenant education workshops that are sponsored by Student Affairs.
Part one is on Thursday, Feb. 9, and an attorney will be present to answer any questions. Part two is on Wednesday Feb. 15.
City staff, the Keene Police Department liaison officer, neighbors, landlords, and current students living off campus will be at this event.
Both will take place in the Alumni Center in Centennial Hall from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
If students attend both of these workshops they will receive a preferred tenant renter card.
Some landlords are giving incentives to renters if they attend the two tenant education workshops and receive the preferred tenant renter card.
Each landlord that is participating offers a different incentive.
Some of these incentives include free cable installation, no application fee, and even free electric.
Riley said these workshops are a great way for students to learn about living off-campus before they sign a lease.
Questions about the events can be directed to Allison Riley.
Warren Wallis, a local landlord, said he looks for tenants that are serious and not there to party.
“I look for kids that are mature and represent the school well.”
He said this is his first year attending the off-campus housing fairs, but he thinks they are productive.
Living off-campus is a big change from living on campus according to KSC junior Emma McHugh.
“It’s harder, there’s a lot you don’t know,” McHugh said, and that there is a lot of responsibility that comes along with living on your own. “You have to cook all your own food if you don’t end up buying a school meal plan and make sure all of your bills get paid on time. If you don’t pay the oil bill, you don’t have heat, the end.”
Many students are unaware of the responsibilities that come along with living off campus.
McHugh said she enjoys living off campus, but wished she was more prepared before she made the decision.
“These off-campus housing fairs seem like they are really helpful, I definitely would have gone to one and checked it out. Hopefully, they will keep having things like this for students.”
All students are welcome to attend any off-campus housing event, even if they think they might stay on campus.
The purposes of these events are just to create awareness for students considering living off-campus.
Mandy Martin, assistant director for housing operations, said there are a lot of benefits to living on campus.
“If there is a problem in the middle of the night, Campus Safety is there. There is a lot of support around by living on campus.”
Martin also warns students to be careful when deciding to move off campus.
“There is no room change process off campus.”
She also addressed a common rumor.
She said if a student decides to move off campus and they don’t like it, they can choose to move back the following year.
“You just get put on the waiting list after the ones who already live on campus.”
Kent Drake-Deese, director of residential life and housing services, said there have been major changes made to the on-campus housing system and there are more changes for the future.
He said the current freshman students are required to live on campus for their freshman and sophomore year.
“Freshmen and sophomores benefit more from living on campus than off.”
This is the first year this rule has been in place.
He said there is well-documented research that proves students who live on campus their first and second years perform better.
He also mentioned that juniors and seniors often think they have priority for housing because they have been here longer, but they don’t benefit the most from living on campus compared to the younger students.
He advises students who are considering moving off campus to go the off-campus housing fairs and other events to make sure you know your rights.
Victoria Ronan can be contacted at email@example.com