By: Lauren Cosca, Staff Writer
Towson University launched its new mobile-friendly, off-campus housing website Jan. 20 to create an easier way for students to plan to live off-campus.
“We’re kind of stepping into the 21st century when it comes to how students obtain and share information,” Coordinator of Off-Campus Student Services Joyce Herold said.
The website, which requires a university ID and password, includes apartment listings, a collection of roommate profiles and a buy/sell tab that allows users to post and purchase items for sale.
Users can search for and choose to organize potential residences by price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, building type and various other amenities.
The site also offers links to YouTube videos related to off-campus housing and safety, as well as an off campus living guide. The resource guide includes things to know before renting, like desired kind of unit, size, privacy and price.
The guide also provides information for after move-in pertaining to inspection, additional security, insurance, community relations and transportation.
There is a section devoted to tips for living in a neighborhood, which include becoming acquainted with neighbors, keeping an apartment clean, taking care of pets and becoming involved with the community.
Herold said that the idea for the site began shortly after she joined the university in 2013.
“I started working with student government, [University Residence Government], and my student leaders that I work with in student activities to see if this was something they were interested,” Herold said. “And they were. So in about 2014, we did a demonstration here on campus with students. We included housing and residence life, student programs, student activities and a few other departments just to see how colleagues and students felt about the tool.”
So far the website has thousands of clicks, with over 100 roommate profiles already made, according to Herold.
“It has everything for a Towson student at the click of a button, as opposed to you going to several different websites, guessing [which properties] will take students… That’s one of the easiest things you can do, just go online and use the resource we have online for Towson students,” Herold said.