Hall off-campus housing provides safety over cost
Seton Hall-affiliated housing options such as Ora Manor and Turrell Manor offer students an off-campus living alternative, but at a steeper cost than their village competitors, according to Housing and Residence Life.
According to Seton Hall’s website, the standard double occupancy rate for an apartment in Ora Manor is $4,786 per semester per person, which is approximately $1,200 per month per person. In Turrell Manor, the standard price is $5,173 per semester per person, which comes out to approximately $1,300 per month. If a student wanted to extend their stay in Ora Manor for the summer it would cost an additional $2,640. A lease extension in Turrell Manor ranges from $1,411 to $1,798 depending on the room. Seton Court, an apartment complex on South Orange Avenue, offers mostly two-bedroom townhouses, which are priced from $1,450 to $2,000 a month with a one year lease, according to Seton Court employee H. Yun, who declined to give her full first name. If two people are sharing the apartment, the price per person would be from $725 to $1,000 per month, although Yun said not all the apartments include utilities in their costs. Junior Matthew DiCiero said the three bedroom house he rents on Tichenor Avenue is $3,000 per month, and utilities generally cost around $50 extra per person. With four residents, living in the house would then cost approximately $800 per month per person. Director of Housing and Residence Life Tara Hart said while living in Ora and Turrell Manor might be a little more expensive than living in a leased apartment or house, it provides some goods and services that other housing options may not provide. “There are many living costs that aren’t incorporated into a monthly rent, such as cable and utilities which are already included in the bill (for Turrell and Ora Manor),” Hart said. She added all the apartments in Ora and Turrell Manor come furnished with a bed, desk and dresser. Hart said the University-owned and operated apartments also provide a sense of community with programming and resident assistants that other options might not provide. “You might not know your neighbors in other (off-campus options),” Hart said. Hart said when students consider living off-campus they should perform a careful cost-benefit analysis that looks at three different criteria: the perceived cost vs. actual cost, the occupancy vs. safety level and the overall safety levels of the living space. She said in addition to many fees and costs outside apartments and homes do not include in the rent, students should consider the safety levels of various options. “I was the only person in HRL here at the time of the (Boland Hall) fire, and when I hear a student say ‘I found this great deal on a basement apartment,’ I always hope there are two exits from that basement so in the event of an emergency, the student could get out safely,” Hart said. Hart added all Seton Hall owned residences, including Ora and Turrell, have many fire safety measures which go well beyond the simple battery-operated smoke detector. In addition, Hart said while it may be cheaper to have more students living in one home, students should also consider the safety of the occupancy rate of their living space. Hart added that Ora and Turrell also have additional safety features, such as an overnight guard, and students living in Ora and Turrell can ride the SHUFLY for free, an option not available to students who choose to live in other off-campus housing. “Students should make the best decision for them by calculating not only dollars and cents, but also dollars and sense,” Hart said. “One of the things I like about Seton Hall Residence Life is that it provides many different options for different types of students. There’s not one cookie-cutter residence hall.” Junior Tony Halas said he wanted to live off campus next year, but decided against Ora or Turrell Manor because, “it’s really expensive and I’m trying to save money.” Halas added that he was hoping to pay $400-$600 a month in rent. Caitlin Carroll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.