Learn all you can about living off campus

By Brooke Wolfe, Staff Writer

 

With the semester in full swing, housing application deadlines are fast approaching. Students are faced with the tough choice of continuing to live in the resident halls on campus or moving into a home off of the Pacific Lutheran University grounds.

In order to move off campus there are requirements that must be met. A student must be 20 years or older, junior standing in credits or living in their parents’ home within 25 miles of the PLU campus. Once one of those requirements is fulfilled, the student is cleared to find housing off campus.

The act of moving out can seem difficult at first.

Finding housemates to live with is usually step one. Filling out a questionnaire for Residential Life becomes a thing of the past because living off campus means hand-picking the individuals who are going to live in the next room.

Students find themselves relying on word of mouth, Craigslist ads, and students posting on the PLU Housing Facebook page about open rooms and getting lucky enough to drive by a “for rent” sign.

Investing time in choosing a home is worth the extra work.

“I have space to myself, where I do not have to worry about disturbing others or sharing spaces,” junior Danielle Sheppard said. “It helps me focus on what is most important, getting my college degree.”

Along with personal space, not having an RA and having an individual room, moving off campus has understandable appeal.

Residence Directors are replaced by landlords whose responsibilities are quite different.

Police officers, insurance agents and fellow housemates combine to fill the position of the Residence Director.

In the case of structural damage to the home, the landlord can be called, but living off campus means allocating other responsibilities to people besides the landlord.

Amenities that PLU used to pick up the tab for now fall on the renters. These utilities include water, electricity, and trash that needs to be picked up.

Some leases have the utility bill already included in the rent, which can make bill planning easier. If the lease does not include utilities, the renters have to pay each bill to the provider.

Cable and internet are not likely to be included in the rent either, even if utilities are included.

“I feel as though I have my own place to call home,” Sheppard said. “Especially since I am not from this state. Having a place to feel like home is important.”

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