UW-Whitewater Housing Wars

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Feb. 18, 2015

By Katie Campbell

Trying to figure out where to live next year, what the costs are, what the advantages and disadvantages are, can be overwhelming. Although many affordable options exist, sometimes a decision can’t be made without having all of the facts. Between the Residence Halls, university operated housing and off-campus options, Whitewater has a lot to offer for every type of student.

Differences in Residence Halls

There are the six four-floored Residence Halls which bears the nickname “the six-pack” on the west side of campus. Residence Halls in the six pack include Arey, Clem, Fricker, Lee, Bigelow and Benson Halls and are within a close proximity to each other.

Learning communities make up a large portion of the six-pack residences.

Learning communities are a group of people who live near each other and take similar courses. The Resident Hall that houses students that are only in a learning community is Lee Hall.

Students looking for a ResHall full of first-year students should choose Benson, Lee or Knilans.

Residence Halls on the east side of campus include Fischer, Tutt, Knilans, Wellers and Wells East and West. Wells Towers is the biggest Residence Hall on campus and consists of two different 10-floor sections, Wells East and Wells West. Wells also has a gym in the basement, which anyone with a gym membership can use.

 

Residence Halls

Advantages

• Close-knit community

• RAs and other staff

• Inexpensive compared to other options

• On-campus

• Close to dining halls

• Study and social area offered

• Full kitchen and flat screen TVs offered

• Free utilities

• Free internet/cable

• Elevators (in all ResHalls except Benson, Bigelow and Clem)

• Convenience

• Furnished room

• Free access to a computer lab and printing

• Free rental kitchen equipment, cleaning supplies and games

Disadvantages

• Cramped

• Must pay to have your bed lofted

• Shared bathroom

• Lack of privacy

• Noise

• Hot in the summer

• Limited arrangement of furniture

• No kitchen or bathroom attached to room

• Less independence

 

Off-campus housing

Advantages

• More freedom and independence

• Less supervision

• Pick your own furnishings

• More living space

• Full kitchen

• Pet friendly (check individual policies)

• Guest space

• Privacy

• Storage space

• Outdoor space

Disadvantages

• Utilities are not always included

• Wi-Fi/ TV are not always included

• Possible security issues

• Monthly bills

• Commute

• Security deposit

• Farther from dining halls

 

Apartment compex

Advantages

• Smaller more manageable space

• May be fully furnished (university operated  apartments)

• Resident Assistant still around (university operated apartments)

• Independence

• Wi-Fi included (university operated apartments)

• Utilities included (university operated  apartments)

• Pet friendly

• Water usually included

• No freshmen (freshmen are required to live on-campus with some exceptions)

Disadvantages

• Less freedom than a house

• Furniture may not be included

• Monthly rent collection

• Not as personalized as a house

• Still have the dorm feel to them

• Commute to campus

 

Some advantages may qualify as disadvantages and vice versa. It all depends on point of view and experiences. Policies also differ at each complex and rental, so look over specific rental agreements before making a final decision.

Living in the ResHalls has its upsides for some, just as living in a multi-bedroom house has its advantages for others. When making the decision of where to live, make sure to schedule a tour, talk to a friend who lives in a different situation, talk to someone in your general education class about their living experiences, etc. Do whatever research it takes to find the best option.

Remember, there are still openings for on and off-campus housing for next year.

For returning on-campus students, the 2015-16 housing contracts and room reapplications are currently open. Starin Hall applications close today at 4 p.m., Cambridge and Fox Meadows Apartment applications close on March 4 at 4 p.m. and Residence Hall applications close on April 8 at 4 p.m.