By Emilee Eustis Contributing Writer
CAs in Mallett Hall believe that residence hall programs not only help ease the unfamiliarity of college, but also aide in higher academic achievement and bonding opportunities.
Jamie St. Pierre, a first year CA at Mallett Hall, said that living in the dorms holds a lot of importance for students.
“Not only will they probably meet their first friends this way, but they also have great resources like CAs to help them out with whatever they need,” St. Pierre said.
“I enjoy being a mentor and a resource in the halls and around campus,” said Brian Weiner, another first year CA at Mallett Hall. For both Weiner and St. Pierre, building their community and having a positive impact on their residents is the most important aspect of being a CA.
Weiner and St.
Mallett CAs are working towards building a sense of community in the residence Hall. (Photo Courtesy of Brian Weiner)
Pierre are dedicated to making sure the residents who live in Mallett get the best experience possible by putting on hall programs to benefit the students.
“Programs are typically put on to build community,” said Weiner. “So the residence halls are not just where people live, but also where residents socialize and learn as well.”
It takes flexibility and creativity to come up with programs that everyone will attend, especially with the tight budget the CAs have to shop for supplies. An upcoming program Weiner is putting together is called “Guided Meditation and Glowsticks” which will help students relieve stress before going into finals week. “We have to shop on a budget so we make the best programs we can for the least amount of money,” Weiner said.
St. Pierre is also aiming to help with the end of the year madness by putting on a program called “BJ’s in your PJ’s,” where students can eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream while doing homework in their pajamas. “Programs enhance the dorm experience by bringing residents together,” St. Pierre said, “they help to build a community with everyone around them.
Both St. Pierre and Weiner are helping to put together an end of semester barbeque with the other CAs in Mallett Hall along with programs like making your own laundry soap to help students save money and better the environment.
The CAs will continue to brainstorm program ideas to close out the end of the semester by helping students tackle the stresses of finals and begin to think about the move-out process in May.
By Caitlyn Raye Contributing Writer
Right now, many UMF students are either beginning the vigorous search for an apartment or choosing the easier option of life on campus in the residence halls.
Foothills is one of the many companies that students rent apartments through. (Photo by Eryn Finnegan)
Kelsey Champagne-Smith, the Assistant Director of Housing and Academic Success at UMF, explained in an email interview that the number of students on campus compared to students off campus is about half of the UMF population. When asked if UMF loses students to apartment companies each year, Champagne-Smith explained, “I don’t know if I would say we lose students to apartments. If you mean from year to year how many students do we retain in our campus housing, then that would be around 63 percent.”
The price of living on campus varies depending on the type of room a student lives in and the meal plan chosen. The average cost of a double room is $2519 a semester and the meal plans vary depending on year at UMF. Freshmen, however, are required to have meal plan A, which costs $2148 a semester. For a room and a meal plan on campus, a freshman will be paying around $4667 a semester, totaling $9334 for a whole year.
Kimberly Day, a junior at UMF, explains the decision to move off campus by saying that “living on campus is ridiculously expensive and you can save a lot more money by moving off campus.”
Day is convinced that living off campus is cheaper. “Based on doing the math, you save a pretty good amount of money but it is different for everybody because it depends on what your financial aid package is too and how much you will be getting back as a refund at the end of it,” Day said. “For me, I know I will be saving at least a couple thousand dollars by moving off campus.”
Day will pay approximately $380 a month for her apartment. Day has also calculated that the apartment will cost around $4600 a year, not including outside expenses like groceries.
Day explained other reasons for moving, such as “having the responsibility of my own place and having my own space and not having to share things like bathrooms.” Day also explained that a big pro of being off campus “would be not having to eat dining hall food.”
Although a student may be off campus, they still have access to the dining hall. Students living off campus have the choice to purchase a voluntary meal plan.
Kelsey Brann, a sophomore at UMF, lives in the Frances Allen Black (FAB) residence hall. Brann explained that the decision to stay on campus next semester was due to campus being convenient.
“It’s good to live on campus so you know where things are for the first year or two but I wouldn’t recommend all four years,” Brann said.
Brann does plan to move off campus at some point, but described the advantages to living on campus. Brann said that “the dining hall and snack bar are close by, so I do not have to cook for myself, as well as having my friends a short walk away.”
Champagne-Smith agreed and provided the pros of living on campus by saying, “living on campus provides students with secure housing and access to food through our dining services. Additionally, students who live on campus are able to interact with their peers, faculty, and staff on a regular basis. Programming such as CA events, the Landing Events, and club events are also easily accessible by students who live on campus. In Student Life, we hope that living on campus encourages personal and professional growth for UMF students through leadership opportunities and involvement in the community.” Champagne-Smith however did not provide any cons of living on campus.