Off-Campus Living: Tips and Follow-Ups
Over the weekend in the Spruce Hill neighborhood west of campus, members
of the Undergraduate Assembly's West Philadelphia Committee began distributing
to student residents a new flyer called Tips for Living Off Campus.
The concise tip sheet covers some topics that have been brought up in the
past by students or local homeowners or both: dealings with landlords;
parties; trash (a useful map shows when trash is picked up for each section
of Spruce Hill), and suggestions for getting to know the neighbors.
It is a joint publication of two Penn offices (Off-Campus Living, and
Community and City Relations), the UA West Philadelphia Committee, and
the Spruce Hill Community Association.
Mihaela Farcas, who runs Off-Campus Living, said there is "much,
much more " information and advice available in her office and via
its website (see below) and "anyone at the University who needs
to follow up on these tips can to turn to Off-Campus Living."
Although the flyer is geared to students moving into local housing,
the program as a whole is a two-way one. One of the Tips that is
being systematically followed up is on knowing the neighbors, according
to Sidney Holmes of Community Relations.
"The Office of Community Relations is sponsoring Getting to
Know You receptions where we will reimburse the cost of pizza and soda
when Spruce Hill residents host an informal reception to meet the students
on their blocks," Mr. Holmes said. For information on holding such
an event, call 898-3656/4830.
The Off-Campus Housing Office is also accessible via its home page,
Off Campus Living: Last year the OCL page
had over 12,000 hits, intentionally bringing down the number of traditional
contacts (walk-ins, phone, fax or mail). But the Office still had over
6003 traditional contacts-4668 of them walk-ins, including 501 faculty
and staff at the University, HUP and CHOP:
The remainder were primarily students, with undergraduates
predominating, but inquiries also came in from:
| Graduate Students
| Other Universities
| Did Not Indicate
Most of the 6003 contacts dealt with information on housing, but OCL
also responds to questions about life off campus and to incidents and problems.
Directly or by referral, OCL dealt with 752 incidents last year. Roughly
half had to do with leases and deposits, and the rest with problems in
repairs, utilities, crime and safety, roommate or other behavior, and neighborhood
issues such as trash, zoning or noise.
The "much, much more" Ms. Farcas offered includes a collection
of Informational Factsheets, available in the office and on line:
- Summary of Services: The Office of Off-Campus Living
- The Search for Housing
- Landlord List (updated twice a year)
- Apartment Rental Costs (updated twice a year)
- Student Demographic Data (updated twice a year
- Becoming a Tenant: Tenant's Rights, Leases, Security Deposits
- Checklist for the Smart Tenant
- Move-in/Move-out Check List
- Financial Planning
- Facts about Subletting
- Temporary Housing
- Safety Audits
- Fire Safety Tips
- Tenant's Insurance
- Information on Utilities
- Neighborhood News
- Furniture Movers, Furniture Sales
- Day Care Centers
- Being a Good Neighbor: Trash Disposal Tips
- Being a Good Neighbor: Noise
- Being a Good Neighbor: Tips for Safe Parties