As the fall semester passes its halfway point, many CSU students are searching for roommates and places to live for the upcoming term.
“You might choose them (roommates) because you like them, not necessarily because they’re the best roommate match for you based on your preferences,” Jeannie Ortega, director of Off-Campus Life said. “I’ve seen best friends move in together and become worst enemies because they didn’t really know about this person’s cleanliness or opinions about sharing.”
Off-Campus Life provides students with a one-stop-shop to help students survive in their first step into the world. The office helps students find a place to live, groups to carpool to campus with, party registration, legal services and Roommate Roundup.
“We’re the premiere site for students to find housing, specifically for CSU students,” Ortega said.
Many students however use venues other than Off-Campus Life to find living arrangements.
Caroline Ogg, a sophomore engineering science major, said she thinks Off-Campus Life is helpful but she thinks most students don’t think to look there so she decided to look where many students frequent almost daily: Facebook.
Most of the CSU graduating classes have pages on Facebook and many clubs and organizations also have pages. The Facebook 2015 group page has more than 3,500 members.
Students use the social media site to ask fellow students about everything from teacher recommendations to ask for concert tickets and Harry Potter book loans.
Every few posts are about living situations off campus –– either students looking for roommates or advertising places to live.
Ogg has noticed a lot of people using Facebook to find roommates but she wishes there was something more. She thinks someone should make a Facebook page specifically to help students find other students to live with.
“So much of the roommate search is word of mouth,” Ogg said. “If there was a place where you could find a list of people who meet your criteria that would be awesome.”
Erin Brady, a sophomore biology major, said she and her other roommates made an ad on Craigslist to find a new roommate.
Brady described the people who responded to their ad as “iffy.” From her experience, people on Craigslist were generally older and Brady didn’t feel comfortable living with anyone she interviewed.
“Be careful and cautious as you approach finding a roommate through Craigslist,” Ortega said. “It’s so open there can be scams that exist out there and we don’t want students to be in situations where they are being taken advantage of financially.”
After Craigslist failed to match them with a roommate, Brady and her housemates checked the Class of 2015 Facebook page.
“If you’re looking for a college student, I’d suggest using the Facebook page because the people who see those are usually students in the same mindset, in the same place in life,” Brady said. “If you’re looking for someone older and more mature, Craigslist would work but it depends the type of person you’re looking for. Craigslist didn’t work for us because we weren’t looking for that kind of person.”
Student Life Beat Reporter Kate Simmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.