DU students struggle to find suitable living arrangements

Caleb Petry, a junior at the University of Denver, claims the internet was the best resource in his quest for affordable off-campus living options.

Caleb Petry, a junior at the University of Denver, claims the internet was the best resource in his quest for affordable off-campus living options.

For many University of Denver juniors, off-campus housing is a pressing issue that has been a great source of aggravation.

Due to a shortage of on-campus housing at the University of Denver, virtually all juniors returning from study abroad are required to find off-campus places to live unless they have applied for on-campus housing prior to June 22.

Student success in finding housing:

Since study abroad makes planning very difficult for many University of Denver juniors, due to its financial strain, the early summer deadline poses a problem for many students.

Nicole Germain, a junior at the University of Denver who studied abroad in Chile for fall quarter 2015 provided her insight as to how the early summer on-campus housing deadline impacted her.

“I did not even realize that Denver had such an early deadline for on-campus housing. While I was abroad in Chile I actually had help from the housing office so now I’m living off-campus at University lofts,” said Germain.

When pressed on the convenience and pricing of the University-recommended off-campus housing location Germain further elaborated.

“The pricing wasn’t as bad as the dorms but I’ve noticed the DU suggested housing definitely costs a bit more than some of my friends’ living arrangements. And the location, just east of University on Evans is even better than many dorms in terms of convenience,” said Germain.

Reflecting on the statements made by Germain, it is clear that the University of Denver does in fact offer some degree of help for students seeking assistance in finding housing. With that said, many University of Denver juniors were unable to utilize the assistance of the University of Denver housing office because of a lack of knowledge as to the services offered by the housing office.

Some University of Denver juniors were unable to find acceptable off-campus living arrangements until classes were starting up. Caleb Petry, a University of Denver junior who studied abroad in India for the fall 2015 quarter, discussed his hardships in finding off-campus housing.

“The toughest part about finding housing was the fact that most leases started up in August or September. That wasn’t an option because paying for 4 months of rent while abroad made virtually no financial sense and there is no guarantee that I would have been able to find someone willing to sublet,” said Petry.

When asked to describe his timeframe for finding housing after his return, Petry painted the portrait of an incredibly stressful situation.

“I did not actually find a place to live until about two weeks before classes started up. Since I’m originally from Ohio, I had to rent the apartment without seeing the unit and even had to sign the lease via mail and complete all the other administrative aspects of the lease via fax. My apartment was also unfurnished so I didn’t even have a bed my first few nights in Denver,” said Petry.

As one can reasonably infer based on Petry’s input that the off-campus housing search is a major point of stress for University of Denver juniors even as classes are starting up. Some University of Denver juniors went so far as to give up on the housing search and commute from their family’s home.

Hardship in the housing process:

Brandon Tate, a junior enrolled in the University of Denver’s Media Film and Journalism studies program had such a difficult time in finding a suitable place to live that he now commutes approximately 60 minutes per day on RTD busses and light rail to his classes.

“Being away from DU’s campus for the entire fall quarter made it a pretty big pain to actually find housing in November and December. Although I have lived in the dorm’s the past two years eventually my parents and I decided that due to the cost of housing and also the logistics in finding off-campus housing it just made sense for me to commute from my family home in Aurora for my junior year,” said Tate.

Tate also expressed frustration with how being unable to find housing has impacted his university experience.

“Its been really annoying having to commute so long just to get to campus. It pretty much makes it impossible for me to go downtown with friends or participate in the activities I’ve enjoyed doing throughout my first two years at DU,” said Tate.

Although there is a significant amount of off-campus living options available in and around the DU community, many are above the desired price range for college students.

Although there is a significant amount of off-campus living options available in and around the DU community, many are above the desired price range for college students.

What does this all mean:

After discussing the issue of off-campus housing with several University of Denver students, it is evident that Tate is not alone in his frustration. Although it appears that most students do eventually succeed in finding housing, it is clear that virtually all juniors searching for housing experience significant headaches.

Reflecting on the issue, it appears the hardships experienced by students looking for housing are not primarily due to a lack of assistance on the University’s part but rather the logistical difficulties inherent in returning from abroad in the middle of the academic year. With few resources to rely on, University of Denver students are largely on their own when it comes to finding an off-campus place to live.

 

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