Let’s live off-campus

By Dianne McGinness ’13

Pacific Lutheran University students who choose to live on-campus as upper classmen will pay around $3,000 compared to off-campus students who will pay less than half that amount.

The decision to live off-campus is a much better option than living on-campus at PLU. Financially, the cost is less, more freedoms are involved, and students are in an environment where they can learn to live on their own.

Off-campus living is less expensive than living in a traditional residence hall, apartment style South Hall, or Kriedler Hall which is full of single rooms. PLU Residential Operations Coordinator Dana McDonald said that students pay $3,020 per semester to live in South Hall, including the cost of utilities. Off-campus resident junior Nataly Meyer said she pays around $1,500 per semester to live in a four bedroom house, including utilities. This is nearly half the cost of living in South Hall.  

Off-campus resident junior Nataly Meyer cooks dinner. Meyer pays around $1,500 per semester for rent and utilities. Photo taken by Dianne McGinness.

When living off-campus students have more freedom than living on-campus. When living on campus at PLU, students must abide by PLU policies such as quiet hours from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., alcohol policies, and several others. According to PLU Residential Life, PLU’s alcohol policy states that, “The use or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on campus and in the residence halls.” An off-campus student does not have to abide by these rules. My housemates and I have the freedom to decide whether to allow alcohol instead of simply being told we cannot have it. The decision to be obnoxiously loud or remain quiet is also ours to make. Students have the freedom and power to enact their own rules.  According to College Prowler’s website, 70 percent of students surveyed said that though the price and availability of off-campus housing may change, having additional freedom is worth it.

Living off campus provides students with a learning environment where they discover how to live on their own. Students learn how to be environmentally conscious. When I lived in Tingelstad Hall at PLU I left my heat on high and opened the window concurrently. Now that I pay for my own heating, I am much more conscientious of the decisions I make concerning energy conservation and costs.

There is the criticism that students who live off-campus are not as involved as those that live on-campus. However, campus organizations send out emails that tell students what is occurring on a weekly basis. Flyers posted on campus bulletin boards are unavoidable when walking to class. Off-campus resident junior Marina Pitassi lived on-campus her first two years at PLU.

“When you get older you figure out where you fit. You know what you want to be involved in,” Pitassi said. “By living on campus I was able to discover what I wanted to be involved in and now I get to continue it off-campus.”

Pitassi is still very involved on campus including a recent role in PLU’s Night of Musical Theater, she sings in HERmonic a cappella, and took on the leadership role of being a Student Orientation Coordinator.

As a junior at PLU I believe that living off-campus is a much better option than living on-campus. Students can learn to live on their own in a cheaper environment and still be involved in activities on campus.



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