Operation: Senior housing

Meghan Parmentier

The recently opened York Hill campus has received both criticism and praise. It has been lauded for being environmentally friendly, but students have also complained about the difficulties and complications of adjusting to the new and seemingly unfinished living quarters.

So has the opening of York Hill changed the minds of upperclassmen enough for them to choose to live on campus during their latter years at Quinnipiac? Realtors and students generally say no.

“With the opening of the Crescent Residence Hall on the York Hill campus this semester, Quinnipiac is now encouraging seniors to live in University-owned housing,” John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations at Quinnipiac, said. “There are a number of very nice options available to seniors for fall 2010 that will meet the needs of most if not all undergraduate students, thus eliminating the need for the University to assist students who seek off-campus housing.”

Beth Cantor, a realtor at Calcagni Associates Real Estate in Hamden, has not yet noticed enough of a difference to judge whether York Hill has decreased the number of students looking for off-campus housing.

“I still feel that once students are seniors, they prefer the freedom of living off campus,” Cantor said.

Cantor noticed Quinnipiac students first coming into Calcagni in the third week of September and she knows some have already signed leases.

“They’ve learned in the years that the earlier they start, the better options they have,” Cantor said.

Rich DePodesta, owner of DePodesta Real Estate in Hamden, similarly reported that this time of year is a “big push” with Quinnipiac students.

“This is when a lot of them start looking,” DePodesta said. “People looking now usually are usually looking for houses, but a lot depends on when their lease for this year is up.”

The second “big push” is the months of July and August, primarily for students looking for one bedroom apartments.

Kerry Perris, a junior, spent the first month of school looking for a house to fit her and six other roommates because she heard that many juniors had a house by the first week in September.

“Ever since freshman year, I’ve been planning on having a house for my senior year,” she said. “I wanted a chance to live on my own while still at school, and I figured by senior year I would be ready to move off campus. Even though York Hill is new and everything, it is not what I am looking for and I would much rather have a house.”

Perris shares the outlook with many other students looking to move off campus.

Junior Alicia Warshavsky said, “I feel that I am too old to be living in a campus dorm. I don’t need an RA anymore and I will be entering the ‘real world’ the next year so I need to learn how to live on my own.”

Andrew Greene, a junior, chose a house over a dorm because he can act at his leisure, without much interference from authority figures. Greene recommends his choice because of the privacy.

“It’s easier because you don’t have people literally 3 feet away from you on the other side of the wall, although I don’t have a car so I’m not looking forward to walking home in the snow,” he said.

The major drawback, according to Greene, is having broken facilities treated in a timely manner.

“My dryer broke down while I was doing laundry, so my clothes smelled moldy,” he said. “Once it was fixed the last of my clean clothes went into the wash and into the dryer and it broke again, so for about a week I repelled pretty much everyone who came near me.”

And it’s not just upperclassmen moving off campus. A sophomore, who asked to be kept anonymous, is experiencing his first year off campus this year.

“I had a lottery number in the 500s, and that was the best in my room,” he said. “With the number I was given we weren’t able to receive a room with all of my roommates, so we collectively decided against being separated.

“All I have to say about Quinnipiac, is that they handled my housing situation unprofessionally,” he said.

He plans on living off campus for the remainder of his years at the University.

The Department of Residential Life offers local property owners the opportunity to post their rental properties online. This listing is available for undergrads and grads to view through MyQ. Graduate and law students are offered a roommate locator form as well.

Perris chose another approach.

“It helps to look on Craigslist for houses and apartments, just make sure you know who you are dealing with,” she said.

“All in all, living in a house is far preferable to living in a dorm,” Greene said. “Its perks are pretty common sense, but anyone on the fence about it should definitely just man up and take the house.”