FAMU students make the tough decision between on campus or off campus living

The rising cost of tuition, budget cuts, and an increasing amount of students on the campus housing waiting list at Florida A&M is not preventing many students from considering life in a dorm or an off-campus apartment. Reshonda Gaines, senior criminal justice student, says staying on-campus can be very beneficial to student life.

“I think it is good to live on-campus the first two years,” said the 22-year-old from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. “You get a better feel for where you live and you get to meet more people.”

While Gaines prefers the convenience of living on-campus, others prefer the benefits of an off-campus lifestyle. Privacy was the primary reason Tiffany Vernon made her choice to live off-campus.

“I used to live in Wheatley Hall, but I like living off-campus better,” said Vernon, a 22-year-old junior early elementary education student from Miami.

The expenses involved with living in either situation are considerably different and can vary depending on location. There are several aspects, such as price comparisons, the amount of benefits and amenities, and the relative distance from campus, to consider when making a possible long-term commitment with an apartment complex or rental property.

Joshua Smith-Benson, a resident assistant for Gibbs Hall, said that staying on campus saved him a lot of money and helped him keep in touch with campus events.

“Gibbs is where it goes down at,” Smith-Benson said enthusiastically. “We have a lot of good people that like to have fun and we have one of the biggest lobbies so a lot of good events go on around here.”

Some students were so unhappy with their experience that they were eager to move off campus when the opportunity presented itself. Rules for on campus resident life are also taken into consideration, and A.J. Clark considered some of the housing activities to be unnecessary.

“I don’t like the fines, and the random stuff they make you do like movies and forums,” said Clark, 18, from Gainesville, Fla.

Clark said he would not live on campus again if he had the choice. With the exception of those who are on a waiting list for on-campus housing for next year, most freshmen have already made living arrangements. Vernon said being able to sleep in a bed larger than those in the dorms and a single person room, as opposed to the doubles on campus are just a few of the positive aspects to living off-campus.

“I don’t have to microwave my food all the time and eat Ramen noodles; I can cook,” said Vernon. “I don’t have to pay to wash my clothes because I have my own washer and dryer.”