Season of love: Will you sign a lease with me?

by Beacon Staff • February 8, 2006

It is the time of year when students have to ask the big question: will you be my roommate?

In order to be considered for on-campus housing next year, students must submit a $300 deposit online or at the Student Administrative Services Center beyween Feb.,Sick of having a roommate who leaves banana peels under the bed? Whose dirty socks are inching over to your side of the room? Who doesn't understand the power of Febreze?

It is the time of year when students have to ask the big question: will you be my roommate?

In order to be considered for on-campus housing next year, students must submit a $300 deposit online or at the Student Administrative Services Center beyween Feb. 14-16.

Whether you are applying to live on-campus or looking for the perfect apartment, it is officially housing-hunting season.

"I asked my current roommate if she wanted to room together next year," said Rachel Moses, a freshman marketing communication major. "I was really nervous that she had already made plans." Moses lives in the Little Building with Elizabeth Camposeo, a freshman communication disorder major.

"I was a little reluctant at first because she can be a big slob," Camposeo said of Moses. "But I decided that it will be great for us to cohabitate again next year."

Sa'iyda Shabazz, a sophomore theatre major, has already experienced the Emerson housing selection process. She is a current resident of the Little Building.

"I was looking for people who wanted to live in a suite, then I just happened to ask my friends about it and they didn't have enough people for a six-single suite," Shabazz said of last year's decision. She and two friends found another group of three other students to fill the suite.

"It all worked out," she said.

Next year, Shabazz said she hopes to live in an off-campus apartment.

"I don't want to live on-campus unless it's necessary," she said. "I want to have more freedom to do what I want and have more of my own space."

If she cannot find an apartment in her price range, Shabazz said she will remain on-campus.

Students looking to reside off-campus next year are also making decisions for the 2006-2007 academic year.

Christy Letizia, Coordinator of Off-Campus Student Services, suggests future roommates to make a contract before they sign a lease to insure compatibility.

"The contract should definitely have in it a cleaning schedule, who will pay the rent check, how to split up bills, and policies of overnight guests and pets," Letizia said.

Natalie Lewis, a freshman writing, literature and publishing major, looked for someone she could trust when choosing who to live with.

"I didn't want to pick someone that would say they would be my roommate and then not follow through with paying rent or looking for an apartment," said Lewis.

She has agreed to live with two co-workers, Micah Levin, a freshman film major, and Colin Gallagher, a freshman audio and radio major, both founders of Movie Magic Media Productions.

The trio will try to find housing in Beacon Hill or the Back Bay.

"I'm living with boys because I find that they are easier to live with," Lewis said. "It's not for everyone because depending on the group of boys it can be really messy, but so are girls."

Emerson students live all over Boston, from Beacon Hill and the Back Bay to Brookline and Allston, Letizia said.

She said that students try to look at apartments themselves before hiring a realtor, because some charge a fee. Realtors, however, can also make apartment hunting a much easier process.

"They search for you and they have information about apartments that might not be available," Letizia said.

Lewis and her future housemates are currently working with their second realtor.

"The first realtor we got was kind of immature," she said. "He was helpful and eager to help, but he failed to show up for a new meeting. We didn't feel he was worth our time or money."

According to Letizia, postings for September leases come out in late February and early March. Because of college calendars, Sept. 1 is the most popular move-in day, Letizia said.

Hayley Vanca, a freshman writing, literature and publishing major, opted to find a bunkmate whom she did not previously know by posting an online notice.

"I got this e-mail from this girl who said she saw the notice and she wanted someone to live with for a semester," Vanca said. "We seem to have very common interests and seem to be looking for the same thing."

When looking at locations, Letizia suggests off-campus students should also consider the distance from the Emerson campus.

"A walk can be 15-20 minutes. Students might prefer a T-ride instead of walking 20 minutes in winter," she said. "Students should try out the commute first."

Detailed information for on-campus housing for the 2006-2007 academic year will be distributed on Feb. 6.

Students interested in living off-campus can attend the Housing Fair on April 12 to meet realtors and learn what the different neighborhoods in Boston have to offer.