Off-campus housing fair a valuable student resource

The fair affords students insight into tenants’ rights and responsibilities.

Kevin McCahill

Finding a place to live next year is as easy as wandering over to Coffman Union.

An off-campus housing fair is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in Coffman Union Great Hall.

Erin Reicks, a Housing and Residential Life staff member who helped coordinate the event, said 21 property owners will attend along with campus organizations to provide answers and options to students looking for a place to live next year.

For the second year, Housing and Residential Life, University Student and Community Relations and the Daily are sponsoring the event.

The Minneapolis Police Department, Minneapolis Inspection Services and Student Legal Service also will be available for students with questions.

Reicks said the University organizes the fair to provide support for students.

“We care about all students, not just those that live on campus,” she said. “Where you live is an important part of the student environment.”

Student and Community Relations Coordinator Kendre Turonie said this is the sixth year the fair’s existence.

The event provides students with a wealth of information about where they can live, she said.

“It’s a great resource,” she said. “You get to tap into a wide range of landlords and pick up resources about tenant rights and different neighborhoods.”

Turonie will have a table at the fair which will provide information regarding partying responsibly, being a good neighbor and the restorative justice program.

The Chateau building manager Lindsey Gunstad said the co-op will be attending the housing fair this year and has in the past.

“We go to try and get the apartments filled for summer and fall,” she said. “We try to get the word out about cooperative housing.”

Gunstad said they receive a lot of responses from students at the event.

For students planning to live off campus for the first time next year, the event will be helpful in narrowing their choices, Turonie said.

“It’s a great chance to talk with several individuals at once,” she said. “So instead of looking at 10 different buildings (later), they can narrow it down to their top three choices.”

Student and Community Relations also will provide free food, Turonie said.

The Minnesota Student Association also will attend the event. MSA facilities and housing chairwoman and political science junior Katie White said the group will present results from its renter’s survey, which it administered in the fall.

“It’s a great way for students to understand the side of the landlord they aren’t going to see by taking a tour of the property,” she said. “Getting info from previous renters is a great resource.”

White said 2,600 survey responses are also available on the association’s Web site.