Student sound-off: types of housing

Trae Stevens (left) and Carly Fellner (right) debate over ideal living situations for college students. Kenneth Prabhakar | Photographer

By Emma Weidmann | Staff Writer

With few exceptions, first-year students are required to live on campus. But, other Baylor students live off campus, choosing to leave residence halls once given the chance. Why might an upperclassmen decide to remain on campus, and what drives others to apartments and off-campus living? Two Baylor students weighed in with their opinions.

Aiea, Hawaii, senior Trae Stevens lives in Teal Residential College, while Greenville, S.C., sophomore Carly Fellner lives at Ursa apartments.

What are the pros?

Stevens: “I’m closer to my classes. It’s easier to get to things. The big thing is not having to worry about a lease or finding a place. I just come [to Baylor], go to class and when it’s time to leave, I don’t have to worry about anything else.”

Fellner: “I like having my own room for sure. I love having my own kitchen, since it gets me away from dining hall food. I like how everything is in one place, having the pool, the gym and the mailroom all right there.”

What are the cons?

Stevens: “At least for East Village, I don’t like that I have to pay for a meal plan. I’m quite tired of the dining hall food at this point. I try to get my money’s worth out of it by using it, but if I had the option, I probably wouldn’t pay for it. I’m not huge on sharing space. Ideally, I’d have my own bathroom and be able to be away from people when I want, and you can’t really do that in a dorm. I think [off-campus students] have a little more freedom, which I’d like, but they also have a lot more responsibility with renting the room. I think you give up quite a bit of your freedom and your own personal space.”

Fellner: “Sometimes I think it’s more convenient living off-campus, but other times I think it’s more convenient on campus. If you want to go to the library, you wouldn’t have to drive, and dining hall food is right there. The biggest [off-campus inconvenience] is I don’t want to have to buy a parking pass because it’s expensive. The shuttle [from Ursa] works pretty regularly. It’s been pretty reliable, but we’ve had a few times where it hasn’t been working.”

Why live there?

Stevens: “It was more convenient than to look for a place off campus. It’s easier, more consistent than to have to look for roommates … staying on campus has been helpful for me … People are definitely surprised [when learning Stevens lives on campus as a senior], but I just tell them it’s more convenient for me. I feel like people definitely think it’s a bit weird, mainly because they’re all itching to get off campus and have more personal freedom.”

Fellner: “I really wanted my own room, and I wanted to try to learn how to cook. I felt like I wanted to get started on working towards life skills … I waited pretty late [to sign a lease] and it wasn’t that bad. I started looking in March, and there were still a ton of openings.”

Emma Weidmann is a junior English major from San Antonio, with minors in News-Editorial and French. She loves writing about new albums and listening to live music. After graduating, she hopes to work as an arts and culture reporter.