Student living options increase

campuscoverBy: Ann Voight.

One commonly heard complaint from the recent high-school graduates just starting at DMACC is that they are not getting “The College Experience;” that expectation that college consists of crazy and fun times with newer friends, and parties galore—from themed parties, a personal favorite has been an Around The World Party at Iowa State’s Triangle Fraternity, to ultimate frisbee parties and every other kind in-between.

In addition to partying and going out to bars, “The College Experience” includes living away from Mom and Dad and experiencing how to be an adult—dealing with more responsibilities (“Should I start researching for my 10-page Comp paper that’s due in three-weeks or go to the SigEps and join in the beer pong tournament?”) and harder decisions to make (“What should I get for breakfast today: an omelet, a Belgian waffle, or a breakfast sandwich?”).

The past few years have produced quite a few opportunities for DMACC students to enjoy this type of lifestyle. Campus View Apartments are the only on-campus apartments at DMACC, and have been open for a few years.

Both Campus Town Apartments and Prairie Pointe Apartments are off-campus and are in their first year of having residents; each one has been open to residents for approximately two months.

Campus Town is still undergoing construction to finish the fitness center, café, game room, retail stores, and west wing of apartments.

Amanda Crawford, assistant manager at both Campus View and Campus Town Apartments, expects the construction to be completed within the next few weeks.

Each location offers individual leases, which means each person living in the apartment only has to worry about paying their share. If someone moves out last minute, the other three roommates don’t need to worry about covering the ex-roommate’s fourth of the rent. They all also offer roommate matching, either an in-depth questionnaire the resident fills out, as at Campus View and Campus Town, or through an online service that shows one’s matches, organized by those most compatible, like an online dating site, as Prairie Pointe does.

All are similar to one another in terms of amenities that are offered: a full kitchen—with a stove, oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher—cable and internet, various cardio fitness machines and weights for lifting, a movie theater with enough seating for a small group of 8-12 people, and regular community activities, like having a free meal of walking tacos or the upcoming tie-dye parties at each complex.

Student living

What differed in each place was the atmosphere; more so than the slight differences in amenities — Prairie Pointe offers free popcorn, coffee, hot chocolate, and cappuccinos daily in the clubhouse, whereas Campus Town has a gymnasium to use in addition to their fitness center.

This variety in atmosphere could be simply because the actual apartments are styled differently — Prairie Pointe has multiple buildings with about 16 apartments per building; eight are townhome style and eight are flat style, meanwhile Campus Town and Campus View have a main building with multiple floors and shared hallways.

The other difference is in the management style — Prairie Pointe approaches residents as adults rather than younger college students, as Campus View tends to, or somewhere in-between, as Campus Town seems to view its residents.

Being on campus, Campus View feels most similar to living in a dorm but nicer, because it offers shared bedrooms, a communal game room, and has resident advisors to monitor floor life and enforce the rules like quiet hours, which are from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Campus Town has more of a hotel vibe, with neutral wall shades and will offer residents and guests access to a café, styled like a Starbucks, once construction is finished.

Like Campus View, Campus Town has resident assistants, so there is still a dorm-like feeling to the building.

Assistant Manager Crawford believes that both Campus View and Campus Town give residents the college and dorm experience because of the community environment each place provides with all of the group activities, like hall relay races, and the shared bedroom option.  According to Crawford, the more popular floor plans are the three bedroom at Campus Town and the four bedroom at Campus View.

Prairie Pointe feels like an apartment that happens to be in a college-town, with a classier and more grown-up environment than a dorm, yet it has the possibility of being louder and having more parties than the average apartment complex.

Michelle Ogden, the General Manager, says Prairie Pointe gives students a step above student housing living yet still have the opportunities to meet new people, offering them a chance to be an adult.

Prairie Pointe management expects that residents deal with roommate and neighbor problems by themselves first, before having management solve the problem for them.

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