CARROLLTON, GA- College is impossible without considerations of housing. Off-campus housing can range from an apartment to any home, not on the premises of the school. On-campus housing is housing that is folded into each student’s tuition, ranging in price depending on where the student lives. However, pricing is only a part of a decision on where they live, community, service, and accessibility are the most used deciding factors.
In order to discern the current state of housing for college students at the University of West Georgia, WOLF News conducted numerous interviews with students living in every residence hall on campus and a few main off-campus residences. Each resident had something different to add. At the time of publication, no management for both on and off-campus housing responded to requests for comment.
According to students in Bellamy, Bowdon Hall, and Center Pointe, community is an important thing to have access to, and they see it in stride. The Foundry and The Reserve are two of the largest forms of off-campus housing, joined by such places as River Pointe. Students at the Foundry stated that community is a very important concept to management, and they display it in many activities at their main office. A source in each one has noted The Reserve and The Oaks to have a failing sense of community. Again, The Reserve and Housing and Residence Life (HRL) have not commented at the time of publication.
Access to maintenance is a pertinent condition in choosing a housing path. Oaks resident, Janai Johnson, and Bellamy resident, Kamal Saucier, stated their experiences with placing work orders and the time it took to resolve the problems. Students suggested that they would like better communication with management or housing. This is especially notable when discussing The Oaks’ repetitive problems with mold, air conditioning, and overall maintenance. Residents voiced grievances about mold caused by the air conditioning and a lack of response by management about the complaints.
Gabrielle Resspess, a resident at the Reserve, noted an experience where they were asleep, and maintenance attempted to get into their room. Their experience is not the only recent occurrence; many residents took to social media, even reaching out to WOLF Radio, about their experiences, ranging from unclean apartments to moving in and hazardous health conditions. Notable residents at The Reserve had numerous residents posting images and complaints of their living conditions and lack of maintenance. One student described maintenance barging in without proper notification.
A more recent development in rebuilding the Oaks was the new air conditioning system installed in each room. Gilberto Agripino, a resident of The Oaks, voiced his discomfort with the installation process. He recounted that he had learned this installation would be taking place the morning it did. Oaks resident, Anise Mines, voiced how invasive the installation was, and noted her belongings scattered around the room.
Sources inside Campus Planning and Facilities noted the improper installation of the HVAC systems in The Oaks’ and Center Pointe’s original construction. Repairs could cost the University of West Georgia millions of dollars. Additionally, The Oaks’ rebuild of the ground and first floors have caused a closure of both lobbies in the building. This turned emergency exits into primary entrances.
Cost is a major deciding factor for students; in most cases, students said it was the first deciding factor. On-Campus Housing and Off-Campus have many different factors all on their own. For on-campus, it is typically cost-dependent on room and residence hall. Off-campus is more in-depth, with bills such as electricity and other amenities.
A student’s final tuition total includes on-campus housing for UWG. Bowdon Hall is the least expensive residence hall, totaling $2,785 for a double bedroom and $3,481.25 for a single deluxe bedroom. Whilst University Suites, The Village, and Arbor View Apartments fall under the category of most expensive, leaving The Oaks and Center Pointe Suites falling around the middle at $3,190 for a double bedroom and $3,490 for a single bedroom.
Off-campus apartments offer plenty of things, such as a more private area and more amenities; however, many students have had to choose between the amenities in these apartments and the actual finances to attend school. Since the apartments have a wide range of things that can affect pricing, sources helped list the following off-campus options from least expensive to most expensive: The Foundry, Riverpoint, and The Reserve. However, the prices are specific to 4-bedroom units, as the 2-bedroom units are more expensive in all three off-campus locations.
Accessibility is all too important for college students who have disabilities and the parents of those students. The University of West Georgia has a very detailed website on how educators can accommodate students with disability, however, a number of anonymous non-disabled students spoke on the subject on behalf of fellow students. One student noted issues with the main elevator in Bodwon Hall that provides access to the ground floor,
Students provided solutions at length. On-campus and off-campus entities should look at their internal operations to understand what merits these reactions from their residents. Off-Campus residential offices need meetings with residents to determine solutions. On-Campus residential areas continue to have RAs and other such people in the RHA who host meetings.