By Shannah Cotton, Staff Writer   

student in apartment

Michelle Greenleaf
(Courtesy of Shannah Cotton)

    College students in Farmington who choose to live in the dorms aren’t accountable for the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning, two expectations that come along with apartment residency.

    “The convenience of having someone clean the bathrooms for you, vacuum the hallways, dining on campus–these are all nice things as well,” said Brian Ufford, the director of Housing and Residence Life at UMF.

    Besides cleaning and cooking, an apartment requires one to be accountable for rent, utilities, and other bills. Michelle Greenleaf, a junior at UMF, has lived in an apartment that is close to campus since late May. Greenleaf reveals her rent to be $360 per month including heat and hot water. Electricity and internet access bills divided between four people bring her total monthly payments to around $400.

    Ufford offered that “The cost per semester living in the residence hall is roughly $2,500-$2,800. A meal plan is roughly $1,800 in addition.”

   For four months (a semester), Greenleaf pays $800 less than half the price of living in the dorms, not including food and other household necessities.

   Liz Dunn, a senior at UMF, thinks that the dorms are a great place to start off college. “Living in the dorms was interesting. It’s great because everyone is so close, which makes it easier to start new friendships,” said Dunn. She lived for three years in the residence halls.  She said, “The dorm experience was something I didn’t want to leave college without having.”

    Wyatt Porter, a UMF sophomore and Mallet Hall resident, commented on the issue of noise restrictions in the residence halls. Noise restrictions are relevant everywhere, but he admits, “It’s really a problem when the CA is right down the hall and you have to be careful not to be too loud whatever you are doing.”

    Porter has a friend living in a close to campus apartment that he frequently visits, giving him an idea of college apartment living, “You experience the good things without actually having to do it, without the responsibilities,” said Porter.

    Dunn disliked the lack of personal space living in the dorms and having to share a small bedroom with another person. “After freshman year, sophomore year, you feel like you want more freedom and a different environment,” said Dunn. She noticed that people usually get an apartment after a few years of college, in the natural order of things.

    Ufford commented on this pattern, “We have no expectations that students stay in the dorms. I think it’s a healthy transition.”