Volume 97 Issue 3 News

Off campus housing process

by Beth Hamme

The rising seniors of Juniata may already be looking into off-campus housing, however the process for gaining approval through Residential Life begins as early as January.

According to Jesse Leonard, director of public safety and interim director of residential life, there are two types of off-campus housing. “(We have) what we refer to as college owned off campus housing then we have kinda non college-owned housing which is the students we give permission to live off campus,” said Leonard.

Places like Eco house and 1631 Mifflin are college owned housing. “Those are properties that the college owns that are off our main footprint of campus, what we call off-campus housing,” said Leonard.

Juniors and seniors are allowed to apply for off campus housing. Leonard said, “Typically it’s just seniors. Juniors do apply, sometimes they get granted that permission, sometimes they don’t.”

There are exceptions to this rule. Students who live with their parents within 50 miles are not required to live on campus. This also applies to students who are married or raising a child.

Residential Life has traditionally let students know if they have been accepted to live in off-campus housing before room draw in February. Leonard said, “We have done it typically in February; we’re looking to bump that whole process back a little bit.”

Ellen Campbell, interim assistant dean of students, said, “We encourage and strongly suggest (students) do not sign a lease until you know for certain that you are allowed to live off campus.”

The number of students Residential Life is trying to allow to live off campus is regulated by how many students they have living on campus. Leonard referred to the constantly changing number as a “moving target.”

Because Juniata has a residency requirement, there is a certain number of students that have to fill the residence halls. There is a limited number of beds and students move in and out throughout the year. Leonard said, “We don’t typically have a good understanding of who’s going to want housing with us until much later, so that’s why we’ve decided to move the process back.”

While Residential Life typically does not need to deny off-campus housing requests to seniors, there is always the possibility that they may need to deny requests to meet their residency requirement. In that case, a priority system would be utilized.  “It’ll look like room draw—so based on class rank and GPA and those types of things,” said Leonard.

Residential Life does not anticipate having to do this, but with the number of students given permission to live off campus being cut back it is a possibility they will have to use the system to decide who gets permission and who does not.

The form that is required for anyone to live off campus is sent to every senior’s email by the Residential Life staff around February. Anastasia Ardasheva, a junior, said, “You just have to fill out the online application. That’s it.”

In addition to sending an email to the rising seniors, Residential Life has the form up on their website as well as the dates when the forms are due. Announcements will also be posted when the due dates are closer.

Everyone who will be attending Juniata the next academic year will receive a priority number, which decides the order in which students can select their room. Students who are approved to live off campus will not participate. “You get permission before room draw process starts so then you’re not in the room draw process,” said Leonard.

Having the residency halls full is about more than just meeting a requirement. “There’s value to having full residence halls as it speaks to the Juniata experience,” said Leonard.

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