Off-campus housing fair set for today at Coffman

Neil Munshi

Potential off-campus renters will have the opportunity to learn about the rental process and jumpstart their search for housing by attending a housing fair today.

The fifth annual Off-Campus Housing Fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Great Hall of Coffman Union.

Boynton Health Service, University Student Legal Service, local property owners and community organizations will use the event to educate attendees about the rental process.

Landlords with buildings of 21 units or more who use University Housing and Residential Life’s Web site were invited to the fair, said Monique Dubos, the Web site coordinator.

Karen Kirkhoff, spokeswoman for The Melrose, said her building decided to have a table at the event because it values its partnership with the University. She said she hopes all prospective renters will attend.

“Especially if you are going to live on or near campus (you should attend), because you are just going to get invaluable information from vendors and landlords all around the area,” Kirkhoff said.

“I think it’s huge that the residents that are looking for housing for the following year attend.”

Melissa Lathrop, Housing and Residential Life spokeswoman, said the fair will function as a central place for students’ renting needs.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for students to come in and get information not only where to live off campus but how to make good, informed decisions,” she said.

Mannix Clark, associate director of Housing and Residential Life, said the fair can also help students with tips and advice about renting for the first time.

Bill Dane, a Student Legal Service attorney, said he’ll be at the fair to inform students about tenants’ rights.

Kendre Turonie, coordinator for Student and Community Relations in the Office of Student Affairs, said she wants to be another resource to help students become responsible renters.

Besides supplying students with basic renting information, Turonie said, she has helped students in the past learn how to have responsible parties without disturbing neighbors.

This year, she will continue to teach students about partying responsibly, dealing with snow emergencies and being a good tenant, she said.

Lathrop said landlords pay fees to have tables at the event or to buy advertisements in The Minnesota Daily.

Housing and Residential Life, Student and Community Relations and the Daily sponsored the fair.