Housing: the student’s choice

Oswego State sophomore Ben Grieco has a big decision to make: Where will he live during his junior year?

When students become upperclassmen, they have to make the decision on where to live. For the first time, they have the ability to choose whether they will continue living on campus in the residence halls. For some students, funds, location and dining plans factor into where they choose to live.

Upperclassmen at Oswego State have three main options: The Village, off-campus apartments such as Lakeside Commons and an off-campus house.

The Village is a collection of townhouses on campus, Lakeside Commons is a collection of brand-new townhouse-style buildings off campus. As for off-campus apartments and houses, they vary in location, price and amenities.

For Oswego State sophomore Ben Grieco, cost is the biggest factor in weighing his options to decide where to live next year.

“I’d say, right now, it’s pricing,” Grieco said. “As we all know, housing can get very expensive depending on where you are and what you do.”

Photo by Maria Pericozzi

Around 350 students call Oswego State’s on-campus townhouse community home every academic year. The Village is a residential community of four- and six-person co-ed townhouse style homes, located across from Glimmerglass Lagoon on the far west side of campus.

“The nice thing [about Oswego housing] is you have places like The Village that give you the off-campus feel,” Grieco said.

Reserved for students of upperclassmen credit status, The Village is the campus’s alternative to the traditional style dorms. Since The Village is covered under Oswego State’s residence life and housing umbrella, students are treated to the SUNY Oswego Guarantee, which is a three-part guarantee with one clause stating that students will pay an increase in price for room and board from when they first become a student. The price of The Village, therefore, will range for students and is currently priced at $5,395 for the 2015-2016 first year of matriculation up to $5,695 for the current year.

The price of The Village increases by $100 annually. This price is by semester and includes all basic utilities, as stated on the SUNY Oswego housing website, including electricity, water, WiFi and cable TV. All townhouses also contain a full kitchen, washers and dryers.

Senior Isabella Njimogu will graduate in December and chose to live in The Village because of the ease of moving out mid-year.

“I didn’t want to sign a binding lease or deal with trying to find someone to sublet the room,”  Njimogu said.

The Village was a recent addition to the campus, opening in 2010.

Photo by Maria Pericozzi

“You see pictures of The Village and Lakeside Commons all the time. It’s a nice-built place,” Grieco said. “They are very well accommodated, especially Lakeside Commons being new and everything being built last year.”

Lakeside Commons, which opened this year, is home to more than 220 students but has the capacity to hold 320. These students have the luxury living in a fully furnished townhouse with a shuttle, plenty of parking, on-site gym, study lounges and a pet-friendly living space. Rent at Lakeside Commons starts at $775 and can increase $885 as the number of roommates decreases.

Premier Living Suites, another off-campus apartment option, has free on-site parking, an outdoor patio, a movie theater, a meal plan option, flat screen TVs in every room, a dance studio, a free shuttle, a computer lab and an on-site fitness center. The price starts at $699 per month and includes amenities.

According to Oswego State’s fast facts webpage, approximately 3,600 students decide to live off campus from the total student population of 8,000. This decision offers students more privacy and independence but demands more responsibility.

Photo by Maria Pericozzi

There are many pros and cons for students who decide to get an apartment or house. They have to find like-minded housemates on their own and then search for a suitable apartment located relatively close to campus.

The monthly cost of rent for an apartment in the town of Oswego ranges between $300 and $800 per resident. Houses on average have between two to six bedrooms available, which allows accommodation for groups of friends looking to stay together.

Most of the locations available are up to 30 minutes away from campus by car. Students who make this choice will benefit from having a vehicle, while others will have to depend on public transportation to get to and from campus. The harsh winter conditions of the area may make transportation challenging during spring semesters either way.

Grieco said he is leaning toward living off campus.

“I think the advantage to the house being that it’s actually yours, you can bring your own furniture if it’s not already furnished,” Grieco said. “The quality of the house is definitely something I’m keeping in mind.”