Housing choices involve decisions

By Jayna Ronayne

When choosing housing outside of the residence halls, NIU students have priorities other than finding decent roommates.

One alternative is to live in University Plaza, a private residence hall.

Cathy Servi, a junior accounting major, said she chose the plaza because it gives her more space than the residence halls.

“There’s more room, so I don’t feel like I’m living in a closet,” she said. “I also like it because I don’t have to cook my own food and I don’t have to eat dorm food either.”

Another housing option is to rent an apartment off campus.

Steve Faramelli, an art and marketing major, and Stacy Faramelli, a French major, are a married couple who live off campus and looked around a lot before deciding where to live.

“Of course you want a place that’s relatively clean and well kept, but there’s more to it than that,” Stacy Faramelli said. “You need an apartment with moderate rent and especially no bugs crawling around,” she said, adding the acceptance of pets is also a plus.

Senior finance major Dave Perry said, “I feel some important things to look for are a dishwasher and someplace that’s clean. I also have to have a landlord I can deal with.”

Dave Whitty, a junior communications major, and Tom Cox, a junior computer science major, are roommates that want to be very selective about the apartment they choose for next semester.

“It’s very important to have a decent landlord—we know that from experience,” Whitty said. “It’s also smart to live in a newer building, and unless you want to pay outrageous amounts of money, you better have gas heat.”

Cox added there are risks involved when a student decides on a place to live.

“When you put down a security deposit, some landlords might try to scam you out of a lot of it,” he said. “I personally would like to find a place that doesn’t fine you for a keg, either.”

Whether students decide to live in the residence halls, University Plaza or an apartment, it’s important not to walk into a lease with blinders on. They should take careful consideration and weigh the possibilities.