Students Talk About Their On-Campus Living Experience


The deadline for submitting the housing application was Friday (March 2), yet out of 202 students polled by the Charger Bulletin, 47 percent of them said that they will not be living on campus next year. The most prominent reason for this was that living on campus is too expensive and, despite the recent improvements the Office of Residential Life (ORL) have made, many students do not feel that the university provides enough for the money.

“It’s cheaper for me to drive 40 minutes to the school everyday than pay $15,000 to live on campus,” said Meghan Tooth, freshman business undecided major.

However, some students felt that the combined cost of off-campus housing was more than on-campus housing. Kathleen Feliciano, sophomore forensic psychology major explained that she believes “rent, gas, and food as a commuter is more than being a resident.”

Of the students surveyed, the largest group was the freshman, with 54 students. Sophomores followed behind at 42 students.  

Among the reasons students have chosen to move-off campus, some common answers included increased independence, being able to decline a meal plan, and a lack of amenities on campus.

However, these are some of the things which Nicole McGrath, Associate Dean for Residential Life, believes the ORL has greatly improved upon.

“Many students have thanked us for ‘hearing them’ and for making so many improvements and upgrades at the beginning of this academic year,” said McGrath.

Improvements from ORL have included new programs, cosmetic and structural improvements to residence halls, changing the meal plan, and providing free laundry.  

Francesca Pimenta still described her living arrangements as unfavorable, including a lack of steps on bunk-beds and difficult and dangerous ceiling pipes.

“I lived in Bixler and people literally called it the projects,” said Pimenta.

Leah Gonzalez, sophomore psychology major, expressed her frustrations with the lack of university effort to make it as affordable for out-of-state students as it seems to be for in-state students. She also expressed that  some faculty “make living on campus horrible,” by being rude to students.

Many students enjoy living on campus for their own reasons as well. Common reasons included convenience, living with friends, not needing to worry about rent, not having a 12-month lease, studying abroad, being an RA and a scholarship requiring it.

“I love living on campus because of a shorter commute to classes and the positive energy that I feel when I am here,” said Marisa Rogers, freshman psychology major. “I also feel close to my friends and even the staff here.”

McGrath believes that college should be lived on campus for all four years. She said that students often do not realize how special and unique the experience is while they are living it in the moment.  

“Overall, I feel that living on campus provides a complete, 360-degree college experience, which immerses them completely in college life,” said McGrath.

Although McGrath cited that living on campus was a large part of the “college experience,” Jessie Mascitti, sophomore forensic science major, equated that same “college experience on campus” to simply drama.  

Now that housing is guaranteed for all four years to incoming students, only time will tell how that changes the university’s outlooked on campus living.