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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Housing reaffirms off-campus policy

Tuesday, February 5, 2008  
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By Lindsay Blaze

Oklahoma Christian University looks to reiterate the idea of being a residential campus and having students meet certain requirements in order to live off campus.

Some students say they can find cheaper living off campus, but the administration feels that re-affirming of the housing policy has nothing to do with the price of tuition at Oklahoma Christian.

"I think there are some people out there that think they will be living off campus next year and they need to understand from us that the Board of Trustees has this as a policy that we are a residential campus and they have reiterated that to me that we need to maintain that," Arter said.

Four years ago Oklahoma Christian began to re-structure their freshmen dorms. Students were moved from the dorms to the apartments. Some of these apartments had only two beds and four people living there. This was when the requirements for living off campus were changed.

"I was partly allowed to live off campus for financial reasons, but I also know there were going to be situations where two students were sharing one bedroom apartments. I also think the cramped living arrangements had something to do with it," senior Marcus Smith said.

Due to this change, certain students feel they benefited by being able to live off campus.

"We were packing people in over there, we changed the requirements to get people off campus to ease the pain," Arter said.

Oklahoma Christian teaches students inside the classrooms as well as outside of the classrooms. The housing at Oklahoma Christian allows for this teaching to go on. The relationships that are built come from within the dorms and apartments, Arter said.

"I benefited a lot from living on campus. Many people did not like curfew, but my best memories came from being locked in with all your friends," junior Jessica Clay said.

Clay said that living in the dorms helped to build community within the class by getting to know most all of the girls.

"Obviously, Oklahoma Christian is a residential campus and we feel like there are several things that make Oklahoma Christian a distinctive university, on of those is that we live in a learning community," Arter said.

Years ago, living on campus was a requirement. The area around the university was not built up and students stayed on campus in order to attend school daily. But over the last 20 years, more and more houses and apartments have been developed giving students more opportunities to live off campus and remain close enough for a short commute.

"It is cheaper to live off campus, what OC charges is ridiculous. By living off campus I get more space for what I am paying for," senior Shiloh Martin said.

Still Oklahoma Christian remains a residential campus.

"Without the residential experience, you are not getting the full experience of Oklahoma Christian, and we really do feel like it is part of the experience," Arter said.

For some students the convenience outweighs the cons of living on campus.

"I enjoy living on campus. We only have one car and my husband has to go to work, so it is nice to be able to walk to class," senior Sara Denton said. "It is less expensive because we don't have to pay utilities separately."

Experiences with students come mostly from the freshmen dorms like Gunn Henderson, Warlick Hall, Wilson and Reba Davidson. It is where college begins for most Oklahoma Christian students.

"We hear people talking about their experience of living in Gunn Henderson together and there are so many memories and so many things that come from that, best friends that you never would have known before and so there is some value in having similar or like experiences and I think that is one of the things we're not willing to give up on," Arter said.

For students living in the dorms, many rules had to be followed. Some students feel the rules made for a fun environment.

"I enjoyed living in the dorms because you would know that all your friends were in the dorm after curfew, so it was like a big slumber party," senior Katie Bowles said.

Requirements to live off campus in the fall of 2008 include if a student is married, if a student is part time, if a student lives with parents, if a student is 23 years of age or older and if a student has 124 credit hours.

Oklahoma Christian is looking to be competitive with the cost of housing as compared to other schools, and plans to spread the word about the policy now so it does not come as a surprise for students this coming fall.

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