Is living on campus worth the expense?

crier editorial

What is the point in living on campus here at Saint Anselm College? Over 90 percent of Anselmians live on campus, according to the college website, and roughly the same amount seem to complain about the housing process. No one likes their housing lottery numbers, where they are placed, or even the accommodations in their placement. Yet, everyone stays. Why?

The reason is probably cultural. Living off campus is not even a thought for many St. Anselm students. Everyone usually waits until March to deal with housing for the following year. They receive their numbers, sit in Sullivan Arena, and leave it to fate.

Arguably there are a lot of perks to living on campus. Students are guaranteed a safe and convenient place to live while completing their undergraduate studies. They are in a contained space with all their friends, classes, professors, and living needs in close proximity. The price is portioned in with students’ financial aid, so many also receive a reduced price to the $12,690 it originally costs, according to the college website.

But when compared to off-campus housing options, is the quality of living really the same for the price?

Take Highwood Village, for example. It is the closest and most noticeable location of off-campus housing. The facilities include a heated pool, air conditioned rooms, and parking.

Chris Harrison ’14 says he pays 960 dollars per month, a rental feel which is divided between him and his roommate. The price covers a two-bedroom apartment, and includes all of the amenities of the complex.

So, while some St. Anselm students are living in air-conditioned apartments with a pool and private parking, others are living in forced triples in Joan of Arc or Dominic Halls without air-conditioning.

Then there are problems with the plumbing, wiring, and bugs. Some rooms have already complained about stinkbugs and lady bugs infesting their apartments or living spaces. Many also have issues with clogged toilets, temperamental heating, and no hot water.

Students living on-campus are paying more to live in smaller spaces without as many accommodations.

Residential Life and Education might actually enjoy having less people live on-campus in the future years as well. Less students on campus means less people to house and force into triples in the freshman and sophomore years.

With the new dorm being built for August of 2014, it seems like the school might be stepping up with on-campus housing. Maybe they see the quality of housing on our campus and know they need to do something in order to prevent massive amounts of students from leaving campus.

The one thing that cannot be replaced is living among fellow students. Although the amenities may be nicer off campus, there is something about living in one space with your fellow class members that cannot be replaced.

There are probably times where all of us wish we could live away from someone that we were friends with, dated, or liked, but living together is something we will never do again. It forces us to work through those differences, and mature beyond our childish emotions.

When it comes to dollars and cents, living off-campus is likely the smarter choice. It is a higher quality and costs less overall. For the St. Anselm experience, however, it is difficult to replace living among peers.

Looking to next year, students will need to decide between financial sense, and the sense of community.