Student housing renovations make new accomodations

The cost of renting an apartment in Anchorage can be high, and working to pay for rent, utilities and groceries can be difficult while attending college.
The residence halls also offer many programs to help students succeed in education. One of the programs offered is the First Year Experience program in North Hall. This program is for students who have earned less than 20 college credits. It offers peer support and mentoring, as well as a variety of social events and workshops with the goal of helping these students transition and be successful in college.
English education major Caity-Ann Stigen has lived in the residence halls throughout her college career and became a peer mentor her freshman year. Stigen said she has enjoyed the community campus living has given her, and the friends she made during her first semester of college have become like family.
Residence Life launched a program this semester called “refer a friend.” This program allows residents a $250 discount on their room for referring a friend; in return, the friend would be given a $500 discount for their first time room.
“Our spring enrollment as of the add/drop deadline was about 90 percent so it’s very good for us. That’s up significantly from one spring ago, so spring 2014 is up 10 percent higher occupancy than spring 2013,” said David Weaver, director of University Housing, Dining and Conference Services.
There several room types students can choose from when the decision has been made to live in the residence halls. There are three residence halls, North, East and West, which house about 200 students. Rooms vary from single suites to quadruple suites.
The Main Apartment Complex is known as the MAC, and is located west of the residence halls. These apartments offer students four single bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, living room and storage area.
The Templewood Apartments are townhouse-style apartments. They include garages and house a total of 80 students. All housing offers local phone service, all utilities, a basic digital cable package, an in-suite bathroom, beds and basic furniture and Internet access.
MAC and Templewood apartments are the only residence areas that offer full-service kitchens.
Weaver said UAA is working on renovating all the apartment complexes and hopes to have the renovations completed within the next four years with new paint, flooring and furniture.
Stigen said living in the dorms is fun because on any given day she can see 50-100 people she knows just by walking to class. She also said that there are many social functions at the halls, and students are always welcome to attend these functions.
“Here we offer anything from the range of social, fun events to educational ones (that are about like how to be safe about drinking or not drinking, and facts about drugs and alcohol and things like that) to keep them educated and always learning, even when they are not in the classroom. We like to put on dances and poker nights and stuff like that”, Stigen went on to add.
Students who have disabilities are also encouraged to live in the residence halls. Weaver says that UAA goes out of their way to assist students who need help. There are accommodations for students in wheelchairs, students with disabilities like blindness or those who need service animals, among other things.
Weaver went on to add, “We ask that students work with the office of Disability Support Services and document any needs that they may have, and at that point it makes it much easier for us to understand exactly how we could best understand the student. We have a lot of students who experience disabilities at any given time, so we’re pretty good at making accommodations that help students be successful.”
Living in the residence halls is convenient for students because rent and utilities is paid for at the beginning of each semester. Stigen, who is graduating in May, said she is experiencing some anxiety about having to find her own apartment and pay bills on a monthly basis.
Stigen encourages students who have not lived in the residence halls to try it for at least one semester. She stated, “I’d say if you have not done it, give it a try because it’s a whole different experience for the university student. It enriches you’re whole experience because you get something outside of classroom.”

The rates for residence halls per semester are:

Residence Halls

per semester cost
Quad Suite – double bedroom shared $3,040
Double Suite – single bedroom $3,090
Quad Suite – single bedroom $3,140
Single Suite $3,290

per semester cost
MAC – double bedroom, shared $3,175
MAC – single bedroom $3,275
Templewood – double bedroom, shared $3,275
Templewood – single bedroom $3,375

The rate for meal plans is: A meal plan is not required for students who live in MAC or Templewood, but one is required for students who live in the resident halls.

Plan Description per semester rate
Block 50* 50 meals, $200 dining dollars $850
Block 75 75 meals, $800 dining dollars $1,750
Block 100 100 meals, $700 dining dollars $1,800
Block 150 150 meals, $600 dining dollars $1,850
Block 200 200 meals, $400 dining dollars $1,950
*This plan is available to apartment residents only. Students living in North, East, or West Halls may not select this plan

English education major Caity-Ann Stigen is a resident adviser at Templewood Apartments. Her's is one of the apartments being remodeled in an ongoing renovation effort.
English education major Caity-Ann Stigen is a resident adviser at Templewood Apartments. Her’s is one of the apartments being remodeled in an ongoing renovation effort.