February 9, 2011

Moving away from residential life

Although Knox is primarily a residential campus, more and more upperclassmen have been allowed to live off-campus in recent years, much to the excitement of students.

“’You have to live on campus all four years’ is not a draw,” Dean of Admission Paul Steenis said.

Since the jump in enrollment three years ago, approximately 12.8 percent of students, primarily seniors, have been granted off-campus status. Most of these students live in houses and apartments within walking distance of campus.

For many students, living off-campus is a matter of saving money.

“It was cheaper for me to have a single on a 12-month lease than to have a double on campus for two terms,” sophomore Anna Novikova said.

Those living off-campus do, however, have to pay for their own food unless they choose to participate in a commuter meal plan. Many simply choose to cook for themselves.

“I love not eating in the cafeteria and cooking myself dinner every night,” senior Sam Claypool said.

Claypool also appreciates not constantly being on campus.

“It’s a nice way to distance yourself from academia 24/7,” she said.

Distance does have its disadvantages, however. Novikova is not on a commuter plan, so she rarely visits Seymour Union and thus misses out on groups who table for charity or event publicity.

“If people are tabling and that’s the only way they’re advertising, I’ll never find out about [what they’re advertising],” she said.

For senior Amelia Gant, living off-campus has been good practice for life after college.

“I met too many seniors during my first year who were scared about having to pay for rent and going grocery shopping,” she said. “I didn’t want to put myself in that position.”

Novikova has also learned from living off-campus, primarily in regards to living with other people.

“When other people clean where you live, you don’t get into arguments over whose turn it is to buy the toilet paper,” she said.

Any student who will be a junior or senior at the start of the 2011-2012 school year is eligible to apply to live off-campus. However, not all applicants may be granted off-campus status, as residence halls are to remain at 100 percent occupancy.

“If more students apply than the number I can grant, the number of credits earned as of the end of fall term is used to determine who may be granted off-campus and who may not,” Associate Dean of Students Craig Southern said.

Applications will most likely be available next week, Southern said.

Anna Meier

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