Fact or fiction: Can a student move off campus before age 20?

Sadie Wise believes when a person reaches age 18, they reach adulthood.

Wise, a freshman in communications, is frustrated that she is not able to live in the on-campus apartments at the age of 18.

“You go off to college to be independent,” said Wise.

She requested to live with her older brother in the campus apartments, but was denied.

Jon Shaffer, director of housing, said, “If a family is living in the university apartments and has a student attending Ferris, the Ferris student’s home address would be the apartments.”

Shaffer said the student could live there instead of in the halls if it were the student’s permanent address.

“If however, a student who is not yet 20 has a sibling in the apartments, the younger sibling is not eligible to live in the apartments, as this would not be the permanent home of the parent,” said Shaffer.

Ferris’ Office of Housing policy states that a student cannot live in an on-campus apartment unless they are 20 by the first day of classes.

The policy states that the housing office has to comply with the rules implemented by the Board of Trustees. In one of the policy’s sections it says, “Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, all single men and women students under the age of 20 living away from home are required to live in university residence halls if space is available.”

Another section of the policy states, “Permission may be given by university authorities for certain students, or groups of students, to live in off-campus residences under conditions which do not interfere with the proper operation of the university’s residential program.”

“The key to understanding the policy is that students are either living in the residence halls or in the home of their parent. Living with any other relative, at a cabin or vacation property, for example, is not within the scope or spirit of the policy,” said Shaffer.

Katelyn Crain, a freshman in pre-pharmacy, also feels the policy is not fair and said, “I think that a student should be able to live wherever they want to live after the first year of living on campus,” said Crain.

Although Wise said she was not pleased with the policy, she also said, “Your first year living on campus is a good experience because you get to know the area, but by your second year you should be able to [live off campus].”

Crain said whether it is the on-campus/off-campus apartments or a town home, all students should have a choice regardless of their age.

“Personally, I think the policy that students must live on campus until they are 20 is unreasonable,” said Crain.

Wise said it would be more beneficial for her to live off campus as she doesn’t use her meal plan much and is wasting money paying for it. She also said she feels it is cheaper to live off campus.

“Basically, I think you should be able to live on your own,” said Wise. n