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New UI apartment proposal a good move

BY DI EDITORIAL BOARD | DECEMBER 07, 2012 6:30 AM

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On Wednesday, the state Board of Regents approved the proposal from University of Iowa Housing and Dining to lease two apartment buildings on Bloomington and Dubuque Streets.

These apartments are located near Burge and have three- and four-bedroom spaces available. The buildings will be reserved for transfer or returning students to allow more traditional dorm spaces to remain available for first-year students. The total cost of leasing these buildings is approximately $750,000, as The Daily Iowan has previously reported. This cost would include the space for 104 students and 68 additional parking spaces.

The regents made the right choice in allowing the university to lease these buildings, because this will be to the benefit of any student wanting to live more or less on campus.

“This year, at the beginning of the [academic] year, we started out with 180 students in expanded housing,” said Von Stange, the UI assistant vice president for Student Life and the senior director of Housing and Dining. “Also, the university has some plans for growth, and we don’t want to turn away first-year students from first traditional residence-hall services.”

Enrollment rates are at a record high and are projected to continue to grow.

Stange said that because transfer and second-year students are requesting more on-campus housing options, it is important that the university respond to student requests and maintain services that are proven to help first-year students with academic success.

According to a study conducted this year at Rice University at liberal-arts colleges, students living on campus are likely to have a higher GPA than their counterparts living off campus. Beyond the advantages shown in research, there are still more perks to living in residence halls such as these apartments.

“There is a greater likelihood that students will be surrounded by their peers when they rent from on-campus apartments,” said Tom Moore, the University of Iowa spokesman. “We think it is more conducive to creating an atmosphere that would hopefully be more comfortable and familiar, because their neighbors are going through the same experiences they are.”

Furthermore, these facilities will allow provide students with beds, dressers, desks and resident assistants, as traditional dorms do, but will also allow greater privacy and independence for returning and transfer students.

“We are responding to our students in order to keep them in the residence halls,” Stange said. “First-year students need a lot of support, but second year students still want some of those same experiences.”

Stange said the university is not ready to quote the cost for rent at this time but estimates that it will be similar to the cost of living in Centerstone, which is $600 per month including amenities. These reasonably priced facilities are located on Cambus routes to ensure mobility for students without cars.

“I think that what we can do is go on the results, and thus far the residence halls continue to be full,” Moore said. “The university is grateful to the regents for approving our request.”


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