Instead of living in one of Ferris State University’s residence halls this year, I opted to live in the newly built East Campus Suites.
Though my experience in these new buildings is a little different than I am used to, being that I am living with three women in a handicap accessible room on the third floor with no handicapped roommates, I must say that this is a lot better than dorm life.
I know some of my friends that I have talked to do not like the suites as much as they expected they would, while others love living in the new apartments. I respect both the perks and the compromises of living in these new buildings. A friend of mine said he feels like we are guinea pigs and this is just one big project of the university’s, but it is nice to be the first to break in a room instead of living in a dorm room that could look like Charlie Sheen’s bedroom from the TV show Two and a Half Men, if you dare use an ultraviolet light in the room. So with that said, let me break it down for those who do not know what it is like in the suites.
There are cameras everywhere. I do not know if these things work or not but it still makes me feel like the only private place in the building is in a room or the stairwells. The air conditioning in the suites only blows cool air down to 73 degrees for some reason, so it can get a little warm from time to time. Handicap accessible rooms have a lot less storage space in the kitchen. I am also not sure why a handicap room is on the third floor. What happens if there is a fire? Elevators could be most useful for people with disabilities or evacuating a whole building during a fire, but I am not sure this is the safest way of exiting a burning building. I guess university housing is taking that chance.
Also, the bedrooms and general living area are nowhere near as big as off-campus options. Though coming from a dorm room to having a full kitchen, a living room, and my own bedroom with about as much space as an entire dorm room, I am doing much better than I could be doing in a residence hall. Rent is cheaper off-campus, though bills do need to be considered. Many basic necessities are taken care of by the university, such as water, electricity, wireless Internet, heat, air conditioning, basic appliances, basic furnishing, and laundry. Although, off-campus options are cheaper, having a place like the East Campus Suites is convenient due to its on-campus location.
So far I have listed many of the drawbacks that need to be considered but do not let any of them sway you from living in the suites. I have found that living in the suites is a hidden economic gem for those who are not eligible for off-campus living. Instead of paying room and board every semester for a dorm room and dining at the Rock Café or West View, I simply pay for my semester’s rent, which is $2,865, and then handle the cost of groceries on my own. Instead of shelling out nearly $4,000 dollars for two semesters on the university’s silver meal plan, I have estimated that I will save a little over $2,100 buying my own groceries. That is certainly enough money for a high definition flat screen television that would look great in my room. For those concerned about the Earth’s ever expanding ring of water bottles in the ocean, the university has made a massive recycling bin available to occupants of the building. The bin allows all 1 PETE and 2 HDPE recyclables. The building is also equipped with motion sensors that detect motion and automatically turn lights on or off, as long as the light switch is turned on. There are also wall switches throughout the suite that control a set of electrical wall outputs. Besides being economically and environmentally friendly, the new suites are a way for the college student to get a taste of living in an apartment like setting, which has proven to me to be a quick jump into the reality of adulthood. If you are nineteen and cannot wait to get out of a dorm, trust me, the East Campus Suites are the place to live on campus. n