St. Rita’s doesn’t seem so bad for off-campus seniors

Editorial Board

Two weeks ago the sound of settling was a faint echo for many students moving into their second, third or fourth choice dorm rooms. Disgruntled sophomores and juniors, with parents in tow, who marched to Residence Life to demand room changes were greeted with a locked door and a sign that read “Please come back on Monday. Busy with move-in.” While these individuals may describe this experience as infuriating, for seniors and other upperclassmen who have experienced recently the trials and tribulations of off-campus living, they would describe it as enviable.

Unlike Residence Life, landlords do not have a central office. They do not provide explanations when you cannot contact them. Complaints are filed on a voicemail and typically find themselves deleted or “forgotten.” Meanwhile, the only courtesy call you’ll ever receive from a landlord is to remind you that your rent is due.

Campus housing isn’t perfect, but you’d only be fooling yourself if you believe off-campus conditions are much better. The internet connection may be slow, but at least it’s already installed when you move in. An RA may take away your alcohol, but at least they won’t raise your rent or evict you. If something breaks in your room, facilities will be there within a day or two to fix it, for no charge. When a (and often times, the only) toilet breaks in an apartment or house, you better hope you have friends who live nearby. Your bathroom will be out of commission for at least three days, or until a contractor finds time to squeeze you into his schedule. And to add salt to the wound, he’ll also charge you an inflated rate simply because he can.

Do you like it cool in the summer and warm in the winter? Enjoy it while you can because pretty soon you’ll have the joy of a seeing what a PECO bill looks like when four air conditioners have been running all day. And yes, the horror stories you’ve heard about Comcast are all true.

Living off-campus is an entirely different world, and sometimes even makes you feel like you’re not even going to college. In this regard, it is fitting that the University makes seniors move off-campus. With only nine months separating seniors from college and the real world, they need to be weaned off of the ease and comforts of the relatively secure on-campus environment.

In absence of Residence Life, off-campus housing forces students to take more responsibility for their own livelihood, even if it’s only mailing in the rent check that Dad signs.