Family housing offers affordable on-campus living

Jill Fier

Jill Fier

For some students attending SDSU, finding affordable and convenient housing can be a problem, especially when you are married or have children.

Family student housing may be a solution to those problems, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Doug Wermedal said.

Wermedal said the biggest attraction for the apartments, which are found on 8th Street on the southeast corner of campus, is the cost.

“They’re very popular because they’re so cost effective,” he said.

The costs for the apartments are $215, $285 and $339.50 per month for studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, respectively.

“We’re really been successful in holding the rate there, so it’s constantly a high demand area,” he said.

Electricity, water and garbage collection fees are also included in the rent, but students are responsible for the telephone and the cable bills, Wermedal said.

Also, students in family housing are not required to purchase any type of meal plan.

Contrary to popular belief, family student housing is not reserved only for married couples, as it is often referred to as “married student housing.”

Apartment supervisor Martha Lingle said the housing is available for married students, married or single students with dependents, and sometimes, single graduate students.

She said there is usually a waiting list to get into the apartments, and one has already been started for the spring semester.

Married students or students with children are looking for privacy, but the apartments also offer a close community of people with similar situations, Wermedal said.

“Like the residence halls, your living with a bunch of other people that have similar interests and similar experiences. Students can trade off childcare,” he said. “While someone is watching one set of kids, one can be working on their studies. It’s really a nice way for those support networks to form.”

“Also, because they’re typically graduate students and older students, the needs for privacy are a little more intense. All of the apartments have outside entrances. There’s no shared bathrooms, no shared corridors, and no shared stairwells,” he said.

Wermedal said another advantage is the close distance to campus. “You’re in walking distance for any part of campus.”

Family student housing is a good solution for some new families, but Wermedal admits there are some disadvantages, also.

“Even though they were built really well and we’ve kept the buildings up, they’re a little dated. The space needs of the average married student in the 1950s are different than the space needs of married students in the 21st century.”

The apartments were built in the 1950s for people coming to school on the GI bill, which would have been men fresh out of the army who had a bride and sometimes a child in tow, he said.

Rashmika Barmar said she and her husband Rajesh, who is studying microbiology at SDSU, have been living in family student housing for seven months with their daughter.

The price is why they chose to live in the apartments.

Third year nursing major Kendra Swaney also lives in family student housing with her husband. She said they have been living there since May because of the price and the proximity to campus, but there are some downfalls.

“You have all the same rules as you would living on campus in a residence hall,” she said. That means that even if the residents are over 21, alcohol is not allowed in the apartments.

“They’re a lot smaller than apartments off campus, but you don’t pay heat or water, so that’s a benefit,” Swaney said.

Swaney and her husband will probably not be living in the apartments next year, but she said, “for this year it works well for us.”

Students who are interested in applying for family student housing or if they just have questions, can stop by the Residential Life office at 115 Wecota Hall or call 688-5148.