By Ashley Wioskowski
As the school year draws to a close, student have to think about where they will live next year.
Two choices usually come to mind, moving to a house or an apartment.
They do not even think twice about coming back to campus.
However, the Office of Resident Life is working on changing that. Resident Life is giving students perks for living on campus beyond just one year.
Lisa Hotchkiss, office supervisor at Office of Resident Life said, there are many perks to staying on campus, such as frozen rates for both board and meals.
This deal, known as The Advantage, stems from the Western Edge program.
It offers students a very specific deal, with no contract involved.
“It began this past fall; the rates are frozen for four years,” Hotchkiss said.
That means for every year a student lives in the dorm, they pay the rates that were offered when they came in as a freshmen.
There is no signed contract and students don’t have to stay for all four years to get this special rate, but they will only receive it for four years.
“It’s definitely a perk,” Hotchkiss said.
Another new addition to staying in resident halls is a free $300 parking permit.
A free parking permit is offered to a pair of students, the pair must be a student who re-signs to live in a resident hall and brings a friend from off-campus.
The deal just began two weeks ago, and about a half dozen pairs of permits have been issued already, Hotchkiss said.
Resident halls also offer specialty housing.
For example, Bigelow Hall hosts engineering majors, and offers special software to those particular students.
Draper/Siedschlag Hall, which is host to fine art majors, has practice and rehearsal rooms for those who need practice time in their halls.
There are several specialty housing units around campus and next year Resident Life will implement a female only floor in Valley one Ackley Hall, which will limit male visitation to opening weekend and family weekend.
Hotchkiss said this will be the first year this is done, and have been done due to requests made.
Additionally, with college students, there are no guarantees that roommates are going to get along an entire year.
For students who run into that problem off-campus, they have to work out a situation themselves.
However, if a student lives on-campus and cannot get along with their roommate or a situation arises, there are resident advisors to mediate problems.
“Off-campus there is no mediator,” Hotchkiss said.
Security is another perk for hall residents, Hotchkiss added.
Those who try to enter buildings must pass through a security system to enter at night.
“The environment is more safe,” Hotchkiss said.
Along with location being closer to class and for those who are involved with on-campus activities, Hotchkiss said another plus is the no-fuss food service.
“It’s amazing how many students off-campus have meal plans,” Hotchkiss said. “They don’t want to cook for themselves or clean up after themselves. It’s a really popular thing with students.”
Hotchkiss said many students who live in on-campus apartments and even off-campus apartments still get meal plans.
Those who are interested in signing up or learning more about residence hall life can do so by visiting http://www.wmich.edu/housing/index_halls.html.