Off campus, on schedule. For Summer Sheridan ’01, each year of college represents a calculated step toward independence. She progressed from a room in Lawrinson Hall to a suite in Haven Hall to an apartment on South Campus. This summer, she moved to an apartment on Livingston Avenue.
How’s the view from up there? “At first it was gross,” admits Sheridan, a social work major. “Our apartment was filthy. It took us two weeks to make it livable. If we could have broken our lease and moved back to campus, we would have.”
Sheridan and her six roommates—all friends from their freshman-year floor—have already called their landlord dozens of times, trying to get things fixed. “This is nothing like living on South Campus, where you call F-IXIT, and someone is at your door in half an hour,” Sheridan says.
For apartment-dwelling students, there’s also the realization that the University—and the City of Syracuse—now closely monitor large off-campus gatherings. “I’ve seen more police off campus than I ever saw on campus,” Sheridan says. “I consider myself and my roommates a nice group of girls. But the whole reason we moved off campus was to have parties. If you live off campus today, you live by the University’s rules. I know a student whose party was raided, and she ended up doing community service for violations to the student conduct code.”
On the positive side, Sheridan says, “we have huge bedrooms out here. Now that it’s clean, we love what we’ve done to our apartment—and we have a year to enjoy it.”
May graduate Jennifer Palange ’00 enjoyed her off-campus experience. At the start of her senior year, she and a friend moved into a cozy garret on Sumner Avenue after a daunting apartment search. “You have 3,000 to 4,000 students all searching in a very small area,” she says. “But we lucked out and took the third place we looked at.”
Palange and her roommate paid $330 each, plus utilities, for their snug, two-bedroom attic apartment. “The heat rose from the lower floors, so our utility bills weren’t bad,” she reports. “And when we called our landlord, he called right back.”
Palange enjoyed the fact that her street “had a lot of real people. We had a 2-year-old across the street and a lot of junior-high kids on skateboards.” For fun, Palange would often invite friends over for dinner.
There were, however, major advantages to living on campus. “It’s safer, you meet a lot of people, and you don’t have to worry about power bills,” Palange says. “But our apartment was much bigger and much quieter—and you don’t feel like someone is baby-sitting you.”
DENISE OWEN HARRIGAN