Living on campus as an upperclassmen: the pros and cons

Alana Tinsley

Many of Georgia Southern’s upperclassmen students are considering and living on campus, with the help of University Housing, due to greater perks than living in complexes off campus.

According to the GS Housing website, the University Housing’s mission is to “foster the development of respect, responsibility, and accountability in students by providing engaging living/learning environments within safe, affordable and comfortable housing.”

Upperclassmen students can live at on campus complexes such as Freedom’s Landing, Centennial Place and University Villas, but depending on the amount of incoming first-year students, Watson Hall pods can be made available for returning students.

Student housing is decided off of a lottery based system, where it’s first-come first-serve and a self selection process.

The pros

On campus living provides many advantages to all students, not just freshman, according to Ryan Heins, Associate Director for Business and Administration for University Housing.

“Over the last several years, we have made significant improvements to our panic alarms, video surveillance systems and continued installation of additional blue light boxes within our facilities,” Heins said.

In addition to this added security by community leaders and resident directors, students aren’t allowed alcohol in on-campus housing. However, in the privacy of a student’s room or personal unit common space, alcoholic beverages are permitted only for those persons 21 years of age of older in accordance with state law, provided that at least one 21-year-old resident of the unit is present while the alcohol is consumed, according to University Housing Policies.

The safety

In addition to safety as a top priority for on campus living, knowing who you live with is another.

“One of the benefits of living on campus is that you will know that whomever you live with will either be a staff member on campus, a student from Georgia Southern, or a East Georgia student,” Heins said.

GS on campus living tries to promote a sense of community and to engage students with one another, in addition to availability of resources.

The costs

The issue with off campus living is that some apartment complexes are not upfront with all of their costs and tend to have hidden fees. With on campus housing, you will always have a fixed, flat and all inclusive rate, unless you create room damages.

The argument, however, with not wanting to live on campus is that it’s less expensive to live off campus instead. While on campus housing rates tend to be more expensive, students only have to pay one time per semester and directly through your student account.

According to Heins, the fixed rate is figured by the location, the maintenance of the building and the staff for the buildings, by their attempt to keep them updated and well-kept.

Kasten Robertson, junior early education major, believes off campus is just better than on campus housing.

“It’s cheaper to live off campus and you can do what you want since rules aren’t as strict,” Robertson said.

Another major difference is GS’ housing’s flexibility to move because your housing contract is good for any on campus spaces, according to Heinz.

Kiera Zellerer, senior marketing major, believes that freshman get over living on campus rather quick because of the Residence Education team’s job to regulate a safe environment.

In contrast, GS has found in national research that students who live on campus are more likely to stay in school and graduate instead of students who live off campus, according to an Education Advisory Board article.

GS encourages upperclassmen and transfer students to live on campus by offering six-month leases for students that plan on graduating at different times, according to Heins. In the future, GS would like to be able to offer 12-month leases for those students that need that kind of flexibility.