Off campus offers freedom, better deal

If given a choice, students should live off campus, as renting an apartment is cheaper and less restrictive than on-campus housing.

Sometimes it can feel like you’re just a source of revenue in college. There’s hardly any reason to put another aspect of your life in the hands of USF’s bureaucracy. By choosing to live off campus, you can circumvent this tangled mess.

Living on campus is simply not worth it. According to, students have to pay expensive fees for subpar facilities with smaller spaces and for less time than off-campus housing. Average on-campus room and board was $8,750 last year, but off campus, it was $7,200.

While the attractive, new Juniper-Poplar Hall is the best the University has to offer, most dorms at USF are average in quality, especially for upperclassmen. This may explain why only 13 percent of undergraduates lived on campus last year, according to

The USF Housing website suggests living on campus is better because it is a great way to experience diversity, be near campus amenities and partake in “the only way to get the total USF experience.” It claims that on-campus housing is safe and secure as well.

But USF prides itself on its diversity, so it should be easy to experience that in other settings like classes and clubs. Everything is so far apart on campus that the second benefit seems moot. Besides, people living off campus are still able to get where they need to go.

They can always use the Bull Runner bus service, and some off-campus apartments close to USF have shuttle stops. Those are a great way to avoid being hassled by Parking and Transportation Services, which has a less-than-stellar reputation with many on-campus residents.

In October, non-student Daniel Boliek stood in his boxer shorts and touched a female student’s face as she slept. He later stripped off his underwear, fondled himself and punched a police officer in the face after getting pepper-sprayed.

While such incidents may not be the norm, it still illustrates how on-campus housing is not necessarily safer than off-campus, as many argue.

Perhaps the best reason to live off campus is to avoid restrictions on drinking and partying. After a long day of work and school, one might be inclined to enjoy the night by indulging in a good time with friends without the threat of being hunted down by a resident assistant.

Therefore, students are better off renting an off-campus apartment. Most have all the necessary services, and some even have gyms and other extra perks. Living off campus provides an escape and better overall value than on-campus living.

Neil Manimala is a senior majoring in biomedical sciences.