Housing fair highlights off-campus options

Students won $1,000 for rent and two $500 gift certificates to IKEA, among other prizes, at the Off-Campus Student Services Fair Thursday at Marvin Center.

An announced crowd of 450 students flocked to the fair for giveaways and information on housing options and needed services such as banking, recycling and furniture.

“We’re trying to promote the resources available to students who are thinking about off-campus housing,” said Brian Hamluck, director of Off-Campus Student Affairs. Hamluck said he hopes the fair will help students get a better understanding of living off-campus and how to make it possible.

In its second year, the housing fair has brought an increase of vendors and student interest. The fair included 35 tables of vendors and services, and WOW Wingery provided a buffet of chips, buffalo wings and wraps.

“Students at the beginning of the year began contacting us asking about another fair,” Hamluck said. “Next year we may have to move it to one of the ballrooms to fit everyone.”

Director of D.C. and Foggy Bottom/West End Affairs Michael Akin stressed that events such as the housing fair are an important way to remind students living off-campus to act responsibly. Akin works closely with Off-Campus Student Affairs to encourage student-community interaction.

“About 90 percent are absolutely wonderful neighbors,” Akin said. “We need to make sure students are being good ambassadors to the University.”

Junior Nate Loehr, who is searching for an apartment, said he found the fair to be beneficial.

“Before I was just looking online, so to talk with someone in person and schedule when we meet to visit apartments is helpful,” Loehr said.

Junior Carmen Jule said she was also pleased she decided to come even though she already had housing.

“I’m going to need furniture,” Jule said, as she flipped through the thick IKEA catalogue she picked up from a representative.

The office points to its Web site as a way to find possible apartments, resources and how to be a good neighbor. Not everyone felt satisfied with the off-campus housing options.

Junior Lizzie Sam, who also said she found housing on her own, said the options advertised on the off-campus student affairs web site and at the fair were limited.

She added that “there wasn’t a good spread, probably only 20 options in total.”

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