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CON: Students say dorm living costs more than an apartment

By chirst
Sept. 16, 2012 at 4:16 a.m.
Updated Sept. 17, 2012 at 4:17 a.m.

Marco Barrientos from Houston lines up his pool cue as his roommate Shomari Simon eyes out his competition from the back of the room at Jaguar Hall. Students living at the UHV dorms have several recreation areas where they can socialize over a game of pool or ping pong.

The University of Houston-Victoria requires both freshmen and sophomores to live in the dorms, with exceptions. Students who live in a 50-mile radius of the campus or who have special circumstances can apply for an exception. While many students enjoy the dorm life, others think living in them should be optional.

TO READ WHY STUDENTS ENJOY LIVING IN A DORM, CLICKHERE.

When Ruben Nunez learned he was going to have to spend another year in the dorms, he was frustrated with the university.

"Personally, I had the opportunity to live somewhere else cheaper, and that was taken away," he said.

Nunez was a freshman last year when university officials first required sophomores to live in the dorms.

Nunez said he and his friends, by splitting costs, would only spend $200 a month on rent, compared to the $380 average in the dorms.

Though an apartment would not have included utilities, Nunez said they were were not going get Internet or cable.

"We were going to keep it as cheap as possible to save money," Nunez said. An option, he said, they don't have in the dorms.

Nunez said the biggest money saver, however, would have been ditching the meal plan. The mandatory meal plan is a waste of money, he said, since he works off campus and is often unable to eat the meals he has already paid for.

Nunez admitted living in the dorms is a good experience for many. But not for everyone.

"My first semester I was paired with someone I was really uncomfortable with," Nunez said. "He was more of a partier and I was more of a studier and the next semester I got a roommate change."

Though university officials say dealing with personality conflicts helps students grow, Nunez replied that he shouldn't have to live with those conflicts.

"We can get these experiences anywhere, really, even just going to class," Nunez said. "Being adults, I don't think we need to be forced to learn a life lesson; I think it is something we should take the responsibility on for ourselves."

Finally, Nunez said the construction on the new dorms across the street is going to make it hard to study.

Lindsey Koch, director of student life and services, said the construction will last through the year.

She said although it could be disruptive at times, students can study at other areas on campus and the construction won't operate during quiet hours.

Construction or not, Nunez said he is ready to get out of the dorms.

"It is good that they provide it as an option, but it is not good that they take away your freedom to live there or somewhere else," Nunez said.

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