By Bianca Anderson
With more than 24,000 students enrolled at Western Michigan University, one big question is, “Where to live?”
While many students stay on campus their freshman year in dormitories, by the second year, students want apartments so they have more space and privacy.
Campus apartments are the latest thing higher education institutions are building in an effort to attract students — and keep them on campus. Western’s attempt at this trend, the $12 million Western View apartments, which opened in Fall 2011, has met with mixed student response. Phase II of Western View is set to open next fall and should house 174 more residents.
Danyetta Thomas chose to live in the Western View apartments for her second year and likes the closeness to her classes. This wasn’t her first option, but it was required: “My scholarship requires me to live on-campus,” said Thomas.
Thomas says on-campus housing makes things more convenient. She also thinks that building a phase II is a good idea. “More people will live on campus, which will bring more people towards campus.”
But another student, Alicia Wollam, this year decided to stay off campus despite the new housing. “I wanted a pet, which wasn’t allowed in the new apartments,” said Wollam. She also feels there’s more freedom for her off-campus apartment, she’s able to play her music much louder and have plenty of friends over when she wants.
There are cons to living off campus, Wollam said. “I’m not up to date with on campus activities, so I miss out a lot.”