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Table of contents

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hank you for picking up The Paisano College Living Guide. We put this guide together with students in mind. Everybody knows the stresses involved with finding an apartment, deciding who to live with and deciding where to fit all your stuff–dealing with a tiny kitchen, decorating your room and living with strangers, we’ve tried to cover the basics. We hope this guide can answer some of your questions, or provide you with some helpful information. Enjoy!

LIVING Decorating your living space, page 4

pg 14

Apartment partying, page 6 Staying safe at home, page 8,9 Affordable health care, page 11 Cooking in small kitchens, page 13 Surviving on $20, pages 14, 15 Area apartments, page 16 Saving money, page 17 Locating services, page 19 On or off campus?, page 20 Living with strangers, page 21 Apartment amenities, page 23

pg 21

pg 8

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The Paisano

Editor-in-chief: mansee muzumdar Staff: ariel alvarez, bradley banks, nicole beltran, itza carbajal, eloy deleon, meagan hernandez, robyn lorkovic, ruben mercado, kevin won Photos: joseph tidline Design: jessica elizarraras Advisor: diane abdo

The Paisano is published by the Paisano Educational Trust, a non-profit, tax exempt, educational organization. The Paisano is operated by members of the Student Newspaper Association, a registered student organization. The Paisano is NOT sponsored, financed or endorsed by UTSA. New issues are published every Tuesday during the fall and spring semesters, excluding holidays and exam periods. All revenues are generated

pg 19 through advertising and donations. Advertising inquiries and donations should be directed towards: © The Paisano, 14545 Roadrunner Way San Antonio, TX 78249 Phone: (210)690-9301 Fax: (210)690-3423 E-mail: paisanoeditor@sbcglobal.net


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Decorating your space words: robyn lorkovic

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tudents are frequently confused about the rules for decorating their dorm room or apartment. This article discusses what some of the restrictions may be, and creative ways to decorate around them!

Walls

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The simplest and most common way to decorate your walls is with posters. Properly taken care of and selectively placed posters can add class to any room, while at a relatively affordable price, in most cases. “UTSA has a poster sale every semester. I like to get cool posters there for my room,� UTSA student Jimmy Bonnette said. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart carry more mainstream prints as well. Another way to decorate walls is with pictures. You can either use frames or something a little less expensive, like a bulletin board, to display pictures.

Try making a collage or just hanging up old childhood drawings and memorabilia. No one else will have anything exactly like that, and it will bring your old and new life together.

Shelves & Desks

If you have tons of knick-knacks sitting around, invest in some solid shelves or drawers to display these treasures. Depending on the rules of your dorm or apartment, you can buy shelves that can be installed onto the wall or, buy a plastic drawer set or basket to allow for extra storage room. Virtually anything can be turned into a decoration: stuffed animals, costume props, interestingly shaped rocks or pieces of wood and old parts of furniture or cars can add an original feel to your place. Try taking something you collect and making a spot for it on your desk or shelves like a

favorite animal or pictures of a sports team.

Living Rooms

Lighting is critical in the success of a well-decorated room. Lamps and shades can make a dramatic difference in the tone a room sets. Colorful coordinated lamp shades are available at nearly all retail outlets, but if all else fails and you’re stuck with a lame, white lamp, try changing out the light bulbs for colored or black-lit bulbs. Try draping printed blankets over chairs or windows to change the sometimes-bland pre-furnished dorms and apartments. Remember to have fun decorating your new place. Mix and match decorations with your furniture and you might stumble into something that works really well.

Left & Above: Use lamps or throw pillows to spice up your dorm room and apartment. Most can be found in retail stores.


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Parties: Staying safe, fun at the same time words: itza carbajal

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dmit it: When people think of college, they think of partying. Many students rely on the party atmosphere when they’re choosing an apartment complex to live in. Here are some simple guidelines to consider when searching for party friendly apartments.

Parking

Most apartments have designated areas for guest parking. Think about whether your guests will be able to park close to the building or far away, forcing them to walk long distances to get to your place. At apartment complexes along Chase Hill Blvd., spots fill up fast, and if students don’t arrive early, they will end up walking from the elementary school located four to five blocks away.

Apartment Structure

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If you choose a multi-level apartment, consider the noise level. How sound-proof are the walls? Will your guests make a lot of noise? Some students blast their music while others prefer peace and quiet for studying. The other option would be to live in college student neighborhoods. These living arrangements allow for more space and, sometimes, a more party friendly environment. You will still be held liable for noise complaints, yet you may be given more leeway since they are not as closely connected as apartments.

Security

Whether you live in an on-campus or off-campus apartment, you must adhere to the guidelines and restrictions set by UTSA and San Antonio police. The UTSA police officers have the same authority San Antonio

police officers have in order to make arrests. If you (or another party-goer) are disturbing your surrounding neighbors, you may be arrested. Underage drinking is illegal and will lead to arrest, and perhaps a hearing in front of a Judicial Hearing Officer if the detainee is a university student.

Apartment Exterior

A party apartment complex may seem appealing at night, but think about what you want to see the next morning when you walk out to your car. If you don’t enjoy walking knee-deep in beer cans, balloons and other random items then you might look into a quieter area to live. Visits from parents should also be taken into account when choosing an apartment complex. (Imagine if your parents stopped by to see you. Would they want to follow the trash trail to get to your room? You probably don’t want your parents to see the remains of last night’s party.) Decide whether you want a party-friendly apartment or a quiet one. Ponder whether you are a party-oriented student or a relaxed student. Different apartments offer choices for both kinds of students. Keep the party going but still follow the rules.


When to dial 911: words: kevin won

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campus at any given moment, it is very important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep your belongings with you, and don’t make a habit of getting up and leaving your stuff unattended. If you’re one of the many who walk around with your iPod headphones in your ears or your cell phone attached permanently to your head, make sure you continuously check your surroundings. It can be hard to hear somebody behind you and easier for someone to swipe your wallet or other belongings. UTSA provides two services to help keep you safe. The safety escort program where a police officer or security guard escorts you home. If you’re studying at the library late, and you have to walk back to your dorm, call 210-4584242. The operator will provide you with a person to escort you safely within the school. If you choose not to call the escort service, at least try walking with others. Using an escort is safer and helps fend off a potential assault. Another service that students can use is the blue phone emergency assistance system. Found all around campus, these blue posts read “EMERGENCY” and have a blue light bulb at the top. The poles allow you access to police operators around campus, even if you don’t have your phone handy or don’t know who to call. However, use them only in case of an emergency because the police department places a high priority on responding to calls from blue phones. It’s important for you to be constantly aware of your environment. If something doesn’t feel right, Emergency poles can help keep UTSA safe. chances are something isn’t right.

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ne of the main reasons parents have a hard time seeing their kids go off to college is their concern for their kids’ safety. When you’re at home with Mom and Dad, they can make sure all the doors are locked and you are safe and sound. When you leave the comforts of your parents’ house, you may become vulnerable to robbery and violence. Always remember to lock your doors, whether you’re in your apartment or not. Even if you live with roommates, making it easy for anybody to just walk in is basically asking for trouble. Try to keep valuable items (laptops, phones, jewelry, etc.) away from windows or doors. Just like with your car, if somebody sees something they want they’ll be more likely to try and get it. If you get home late, be careful walking to your apartment. Keep

your phone handy, but don’t text when you’re walking. People who are always distracted while walking are more prone to being attacked than those who seem aware. To ensure personal safety, make sure you keep emergency numbers handy. Geoffrey Merrit from UTSAPD’s crime prevention unit said that students should program the UTSA police department’s emergency number into their cell phones in case of an emergency on campus. Save 210-458-4911 and have it on a speed dial, so you have quick phone access to the UTSA police department. Calling 911 for the city of San Antonio, and after your situation is assessed, they will call UTSA police department. If an emergency occurs on campus, calling the UTSA police department is the fastest way for your emergency to get a response. With thousands of people on


Tips for staying safe around campus Always trust your gut. The well-being of your own safety is up to you, and the police department can’t come to your aid if you’re not first conscious of what’s going on. Keep your eyes open to potential: it may compromise your safety when you least expect it.

Fire Safety

Need to know UTSA Police Department: Save 210-458-4911 and have it on a speed dial so you have a quick phone access to the UTSA police department. Safety escort service: call 210-458-4242. The operator will provide you with a person to escort you safely within the school.

words: meagan hernandez San Antonio Fire Department: call 210-207-8400 for quesire safety is an important tions; 911 for emergencies.

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Or visit: www.sanantonio.gov/safd/ and take the Home Safety Quiz. NFPA Safety Tips: visit www.nfpa.org/education Source: UTSAPD, NFPA, Sanantonio.gov each alarm monthly and never disable them. Three-fourths of dormitory and apartment fires are cooking-related. To prevent these fires students should cook only in a designated area while sober and alert. If using a barbecue grill or fire pit, check with their local fire department to learn of any restrictions before use. No matter where students live, the NFPA recommends that they learn and practice an evacuation plan in case of a fire. If an alarm sounds, students should get out of the building quickly and stay out until the fire department clears the building. Other simple fire safety tips include using surge protectors for electrical appliances, smoking outside where permitted and placing open-flamed candles away from anything that could burn and blowing them out when they are unattended.

The San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) offers safety tips students should follow in case of a fire. Along with the NFPA, the SAFD recommends that students know their way out, so that they can get to safety quickly. If a student is in a room with the door closed when a fire starts, they should always check for smoke under the door. Students should test the door and doorknob temperature before opening and stay low to the ground if there is smoke. And, as always, remember this easy and possibly life-saving phrase: Stop, Drop and Roll. In any fire-related emergency, students should immediately get themselves to safety and dial 911. For more information on fire safety, contact the SAFD at 210-207-8400 or visit their Web site at www.sanantonio.gov/safd.

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aspect of dormitory and apartment living for college students and is often overlooked. To ensure safety, students should take the time to educate themselves on proper fire safety, and inspect their environment to make sure it meets safety requirements. Fires in dormitories and apartments are most likely to occur between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., and weekends. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of 3,570 fires in dormitories, apartments, sororities and barracks in 2003-2006. “These fires caused an annual average of seven civilian deaths, 54 civilian fire injuries and $29.4 million in direct property damage,” NFPA reported. The NFPA offers valuable fire safety tips specifically geared toward college students living in dormitories or apartments. Students should make sure that their dormitory or apartment has a smoke alarm in each bedroom. The NFPA recommends that all smoke alarms be interconnected so that when one alarm goes off, they all go off. Students should test


Affordable health care isn’t always a burden words: bradley banks

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come, a valid photo ID, and proof of residency. Be sure to also bring in proof you are attending school by printing out your account summary from ASAP. You will meet with an enrollment counselor who will determine eligibility and determine your financial responsibility based on your level of income. If you are approved, you will be given a member ID number and assigned a primary care physician in your area. Carelink bills its members only for the treatment they receive, and the minimum monthly payment is usually well within their means. Carelink operates quite differently from a typical health insurance plan. Health insurance determines eligibility based on risk factors including age and pre-existing conditions. Carelink provides affordable health care to those in need regardless of their current health. Carelink charges no monthly

premiums. Typical insurance policies set a maximum limit of what they will pay for your treatment. In Carelink, the only limit is the maximum financial liability of the patient. Each member is assigned a maximum limit that he or she is responsible for paying in the case of prolonged or expensive treatment. If a member’s medical costs surpass the set amount, Bexar County pays the difference. Carelink is not meant to be a permanent health care provider. It is designed to help Bexar County residents including college students, receive affordable health care. If you are interested in becoming a Carelink member, visit the University Health System Web site and click on “What is Carelink?” There you will find more information that will help put you in contact with an enrollment counselor and on the path to affordable health care.

Setting up Carelink

Set up an appointment: www.US-HealthQuotes.com/CareLink Make sure to take: proof of income, a valid photo ID, and proof of residency, transcripts or ASAP account summary. How Carelink works: Carelink bills its members only for the treatment they receive, and the minimum monthly payment is usually well within their means Care: Each member is assigned a maximum limit that he or she is responsible for paying in the case of prolonged or expensive treatment. If a member’s medical costs surpass the set amount, Bexar County pays the difference Source: University Health System Web site

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ot health insurance? If you are a typical college student, chances are you are either covered under you parent’s plan, or you simply go without it. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a U.S. based nonprofit focused on health care issues facing America, young adults, age 19-29 are the most likely to be uninsured. Members of this age group make up 30 percent of the overall uninsured population. Without insurance coverage, young adults risk both their physical health and financial security, but the rising cost of health insurance in America forces many students to simply go without insurance and hope for the best. But what do you do when crossing your fingers doesn’t work? Bexar County has an answer in the form of the University Health System’s Carelink program. Carelink is a financial assistance program available to eligible Bexar County residents who do not have or cannot afford health insurance. Carelink offers students and their families an affordable monthly payment plan that is based on their income and family size. Carelink is not insurance. Carelink assigns most members to a primary care physician, charges fees based on ability to pay, and also works to get them free or discounted prescription drugs. Unlike insurance, there is no monthly premium to pay. It works like this: First, set up an appointment online or by phone. On the day of your appointment, simply bring in your proof of in-

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Maximize small kitchens words: mansee muzumdar

H

ow to cook in a tiny kitchen (with multiple roommates!):

Storage

Not only does having storage spaces around keep you organized, it also can remind you what you have so you don’t end up buying three boxes of pasta in one week. Use see-through containers to store your pasta, cereal, flour and sugar. If you have ample drawer space, store all silverware in drawers. If you run out of room, buy a big canister to store all your cooking utensils. Keep it by your stove for easy access.

Pots & Pans

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could open up your cupboards without the fear that everything inside will come crashing down on you? Students have a tendency to accumulate lots of cooking stuff. Even if you cook a lot, all you really

need are a few different-sized pots and two frying pans (one big, one small). Yes, this means you might have to do dishes every night, but that’s probably a good habit to get into anyway. By not crowding your cupboard with dozens of different pots and pans, you will give yourself more room to store your blenders, sandwich-makers, etc. It’s inevitable that your counter space will be precious, so don’t litter it with bulky appliances.

Sink & Dishwasher

If you live alone, or with just one other person, chances are you don’t accumulate that many dishes everyday. If that’s the case, try hand washing everything and using the dishwasher to store your things while they dry. Not only is this easy, but it’s practical too. If there are a few of you using the kitchen and you just can’t keep up with the seemingly endless pile of dirty dishes, go ahead and fill that

baby up. Just make sure everybody is on the same page, so nobody starts loading dirty dishes in with cleaned ones.

Fridge

Write lists! Before you go to the grocery store, make a list of what you already have. If you don’t, you risk having three cartons of eggs. And unless you really like eggs, you probably won’t use 36 of them. Knowing what you have will also give you the chance to rotate all the stuff from the back around. Obviously, anything with mold should be thrown away. Move everything else to the front so you remember to use it. If you have a bad habit of forgetting things hidden away in drawers and shelves, stop storing them there. Keep your vegetables out on a shelf and use the drawer for drinks, condiments or anything else that doesn’t spoil.

Store your cereal in plastic airtight containers. Below: Use see-through storage bins to store extra food.

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Keep your kitchen tools in a container for easy access

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How to survive a week with only $20 in your pocket words: eloy deleon

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magine this: It’s the beginning of the month, and you just got paid. Thanks to all your bills, most of your money is gone before you have a chance to enjoy it. It’s a week before you get paid again and all you have is $20 in your bank account. Sound familiar? Here are some tips to stretch that money until your next paycheck.

Food

No eating out for you this week. Go to the grocery store early and stock up on items that will last you a few meals. At this point, most of your money is going to go to food but make sure it’s the stuff you want to eat and won’t mind cooking. Also remember that, more than likely, you will have to brownbag it to class or work, so plan ac-

cordingly. Plenty of stores offer coupons that will help you save money on food so take advantage of them. Here’s an example of what your shopping list should look like: Breakfast • Eggs–$1.77 Not only are eggs inexpensive, but they will more than likely last you the entire week. • Special K–$3.35: A great onthe-go snack and filled with healthful nutrients. Perfect if you’re not used to making breakfast in the morning. • Bread–.89: Technically you’ll probably use this product all day, not just at breakfast. But it is good for toast or a grilled cheese sandwich in the morning. Lunch & Dinner • Boneless chicken breasts–$4.97

a pound • Ground beef–$1.88 a pound • Pasta–.89 • Spaghetti sauce–.89 I’m sure you can figure out what to do with these. Mix it up and make chicken pasta one night and traditional spaghetti the next. Or use the ground beef to make burgers: One pound of meet will make you about four good-sized patties. • Top Ramen (it had to be mentioned)–.15 a pack If you ate this stuff once a day for an entire week, you would only be spending $1.05. It’s worth looking into. Not the healthiest choice by far, but it’s quick and easy and, literally, the cheapest food you can find. And of course, save any leftover food in Tupperwear® so you can eat it again. Next, you may want something to drink while eating your meals. A three liter soda costs $1.09. You can buy two flavors so that you wont get tired of drinking the same one throughout the week.

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Transportation

Don’t be like these guys: Budget your money!

Hopefully you filled up your tank after you deposited your check so you won’t have to deal with that during this week. If you do find yourself running low though, you might want to consider alternate transportation. If you’re lucky enough to live close to campus, see if you can hop on a shuttle instead of driving to class. Or just ask a friend if you can bum a ride. The good news is that since you won’t be spending as much, you probably won’t have to leave your place as much.


Right: Pick up groceries for the week and try not to eat out.

$ Budgeting Ideas

Left: Watch a DVD at home to save some cash. Left: A bottle of marinara can go a long way.

Entertainment

If it’s been a long, stressful week and you feel you need some sort of entertainment to relax, then Redbox movies (the red movie vending machines located throughout San Antonio) are a great option. Renting a movie through a Redbox is only $1 per night. Since most movie theatres cost about $8 to watch a film, this is a great deal. Just make sure you return it right away or you’ll be paying a lot more than a buck. Try and convince your friends to come over and watch

it with you, so you’re not socially deprived throughout the week.

Total: $18.87

With a couple of dollars left to spare for taxes, you’ve successfully survived the entire week with food and also given yourself an opportunity to watch a great movie. The key to surviving on less money is learning how to budget. Figure out what’s most important and spend accordingly.

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UTSA Campus in University Center

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Apartments around UTSA The Abbey at Medical Center

5450 Rowley Rd., 78240

(866) 205-1035

The Abbey at Stone Oak

20659 Stone Oak Pkwy., 78258

(866) 870-0478

Avalon Place

6676 UTSA Blvd., 78249

(210) 877-0400

Las Brisas

12626 Blanco Rd., 78216

(866) 258-6358

Broadstone on Medical

4900 Medical Dr.,78229

(888) 235-0550

La Cantera Estates

18385 Babcock Rd., 78255

(888) 299-1457

Fifth Avenue Apartments

11530 Vance Jackson Rd., 78230

(866) 675-5199

Forest Oaks Apartments

6313 Evers Rd., 78238

(866) 558-0445

La Hacienda

3903 SE Military Dr., 78223

(866) 503-7875

The Highlands

5655 Utsa Blvd., 78249

(866) 324-9415

High View Place

15949 Chase Hill Blvd., 78256 (210) 888-2112

Hill Country Place

6222 UTSA Blvd., 78249

(210) 888-3100

Hunters Glen Apartments

8715 Datapoint Dr., 78229

(866) 719-0662

La Jolla

10707 W IH-10, 78230

(866) 919-9850

The Lodge at Shavano

3838 Lockhill Selma, 78230

(888) 562-9013

Madera Apartments

8102 W. Hausman Rd., 78249 (210) 690-8872

Marquis at Deerfield

16650 Huebner, 78248

(866) 481-1460

Mesa Ridge

4900 USAA Blvd., 78240

(866) 704-3034

Mira Vista at La Cantera

16505 La Cantera Pkwy., 78256

(866) 206-4367

Oak Haven Apartments

11500 Huebner Rd., 78230

(866) 390-9847

Oaks of Marymont

8800 Starcrest Dr., 78217

(888) 558-0511

The Outpost

6802 UTSA Blvd., 78249

(210) 694-4777

The Preserve at Fredericksburg

10422 Huebner Rd., 78240

(888) 424-7414

Presidio at the Landmark

14200 Vance Jackson, 78249

(866) 936-5905

San Miguel

5202 Texanna Drive, 78249

(866) 536-6302

Sedona Ranch

17655 Henderson Pass, 78232 (866) 421-1533

The Seville Apartments

13330 Blanco Rd., 78216

(866) 397-8196

Silver Oaks Apartment Community

7585 Ingram Rd., 78251

(866) 899-4790

Springs at Bandera

8603 N. Loop 1604 W., 78249

(866) 565-0186

Ventana Apartment Homes

11020 Huebner Oaks, 78230

(866) 377-8641

Villas at Medical Center

5623 Hamilton Wolfe, 78240

(866) 400-9126

Walker Ranch

14500 Blanco Rd., 78216

(866) 675-3135

Wolfe Run Apartments

8602 Cinnamon Creek, 78240 (877) 563-4048

Paisano Advertisers


Saving cents makes sense

How to be smart about your money during college words: nicole beltran

M

necessary if only 600 texts are being sent. It may only save you $5; however, that’s $5 plus tax that can be used on something else. One of the most obvious ways to save is to buy only sale items. Many female students try to save money by going to the mall, finding something they like at regular price and waiting about a month until it goes on sale. Some also look for the item online and wait for a “free-shipping promotion” to buy the item. Many stores now ask customers for their e-mail when shopping and send coupons through the mail. Carry them with you wherever you go. Some stores offer a type of “rewards” program: the more you shop at the store, the more points and coupons you can receive. If the item you’re looking for causes you to use a credit card, make sure to do so only if you’re offered a zero percent interest for a

certain amount of time. Paying interest for clothes or a television is a waste of money that could go toward the interest on a school loan. Lastly, take advantage of being a student at UTSA. Go to the Campus Technology Store. Students can purchase the newest Microsoft Office for Windows or Mac for only $33. There is also an Apple Authorized Campus store where you can buy a laptop or desktop with the Apple Education discount. Each semester, students are allowed 200 free pages to print, giving them a chance to save money on ink and/or a printer. The UCinema Nights offers free movies and free popcorn every Friday and Saturday. The library also has a large selection of movies to rent out for free. You can save a lot if you plan– try it!

Ride the VIA anywhere for $35 a semester.

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ost college students are struggling to get by, worrying about how they’re going to pay for their next meal and never thinking about how they’re going to pay off their student loans until it’s time to walk the stage. Students are on the go and don’t have a lot of time or money to waste. They don’t have 30 minutes to spare to park off UTSA BLVD. and walk to their class, even though it’s free. Carpooling is a good way to save money, and many students are already doing it. Though parking permits can be expensive, students who have close friends or relatives said that one way they save money is by splitting the cost of a permit. A commuter permit can be as low as $40 if the cost is split in half. Or take advantage of UTSA’s contract with the VIA bus system: A semester pass runs $35 and includes express, regular and street car service. Cell phones are another reason it’s hard to save money for college students. Yes, it’s cool to have the newest phone with the newest technology available, but there are ways to lower the monthly bill and keep services low. The first step is checking your monthly statement. Many students say they never look at their bill and just pay when it’s due. Other students say they’ve looked at their bill and have seen charges for services they never wanted, such as phone insurance. They had to call their provider more than once to resolve the issue. Also, check the bill to see the usage trends. Unlimited text messages are not

17


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Need help finding housing? Call Roadrunner Locating

words: mansee muzumdar

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Become a fan of Roadrunner Locating on Facebook. skills and prior relationships with the best reputation,” Vasquez said. local apartments, find you a place “I want to save (students) money. to live. That’s what makes me happy.” “Other locator services try and To contact Roadrunner Locatkeep the rent high for their clients, ing, call 210-385-9212 or you can so they get better commissions,” reach Vasquez at 512-644-7327. Vasquez said. “We are students so For more information visit their we know what its like to not have Web site, www.rrlocating.com. money.” Currently Roadrunner LocatIncentives: ing employs five agents, including As an incentive for UTSA orVasquez, but they are looking to ganizations to get the word out, expand. Those with a real estate li- Roadrunner Locating will donate cense are welcome to call for more $50 to any organization whose information on the company. member uses their service. Trying to find an apartment For anybody who uses their seror house can be one of the most vices, Roadrunner Locating will stressful experiences for students. either provide a $50 gift card to Dealing with school and/or work the place of their choice or move is bad enough, but try to juggle the client for free. They will take that while finding the best deal your packed boxes, put them in a for a roof over your head, and you u-Haul and take them to your new might be asking for trouble. apartment. “I will find them the best deal, with the best apartment and with

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nybody who has tried to find an apartment or house for a decent student-friendly price knows sellers (or leasing agents) sometimes try to get a higher price out of younger buyers because they assume we don’t know any better. Well not anymore. Junior Fabien Vasquez has created Roadrunner Locating to help alleviate some of that stress. Students looking for a new apartment, house or those who are selling can use Roadrunner Locating. Vasquez has gained experience as a leasing agent, building good relationships with apartment complexes around the San Antonio area, as well as in San Marcos and Austin. In January 2010, he decided to start his own apartment locating service for students. He chose to focus on UTSA because he knows from experience what it’s like to be a student looking for a place to live. Currently, there are 4,000 dorm rooms on campus for students. But what about the over 25,000 enrolled who can’t live on campus.? That’s where Vazquez comes in. “I love being a Roadrunner,” Vasquez said. “ I’m catering to the UTSA market because I am a student here. I want to do what I can to help better our university.” Roadrunner Locating, which is a free service, works like most other apartment locating services; You contact them, either by phone or through the Web site, tell the agent what you’re looking for and what your budget is. Vasquez and his team, using their negotiating

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On- or off-campus housing? Guidelines for choosing the best housing for you words: ruben mercado

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sonality. Talk to students who have lived in both situations so they can offer a unique perspective on what students looking for a place to stay should look at when deciding for the coming semester.

Living On-Campus

Living Off-Campus

hile looking for a new place, one of the biggest questions can be whether to live on or off campus. Both have their advantages as well as their disadvantages, and ultimately the decision all comes down to your lifestyle and per-

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Living on campus offers students the obvious advantage of being closer to their classes. Walking to class and having the luxury of waking up later is a huge benefit for students who might prefer going to bed later on at night. “Being able to sleep in is great. It’s a lot closer to school so you don’t have to wake up as early,” sophomore Amanda Pena said. Being so much closer to campus also makes it easier to get involved with on-campus events and organizations, which leads to more friends and a better appreciation of the overall college experience. Many students living on campus will be away from home for the first time and be far away from their usual environment, so living on campus offers them the chance to start a whole new experience with new friends. Living on campus may feel more structured to some students who are used to being more independent. These students may feel like they are still living at home because on-campus housing may at times have more rules than off-campus housing, and students may want more freedom. Older students may prefer off-campus living since on-campus housing is usually geared more towards younger students.

Living off campus is usually the preferred style of living for older students who already have some college experience. “I think it was really good for me to live on campus freshman year,” junior Samantha Salazar said. “It helped me meet a lot of people, but I definitely enjoy having my own place.” Students who may already lived on campus and been close to several peers, Resident Assistants and the university itself, may notice that living farther from the campus forces them to be more independent. They are now less dependant on others, and it is up to them to make it to class on time, study and maintain their own schedules. Off-campus students have to buy their own groceries and rely on campus food less. They have to rely on themselves to clean more and make sure their life is in order. When living on campus, it is easier to get help with so many peers nearby, but being more independent and away from the campus does not offer that safety net. A big issue for students living off campus is transportation. Depending on how close students live to the campus, apartment complexes may offer shuttle transportation to school. In places that don’t, students need to find their own transportation, be it by bike or car. Driving to campus also means paying for gas and a parking permit. The commute can also take longer than expected due to traffic. Students could be late or miss class entirely due to the commute and finding a parking spot.

Why did the student cross the road? To get to The Outpost.


How to live peacefully with complete strangers words: ariel alvarez

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a place to eat, sleep and study–not make a friend for life. • Communicate. This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people don’t discuss problems with their roommates, because they don’t want things to become awkward. If one person likes to study during the evenings and be in bed by 11:00 p.m. so they’re well rested for their 8:00 a.m. class, while their roommate has friends over late into the night, the atmosphere can become strained. Dealing with little problems early on is easier than waiting and letting things blow out of proportion. Chances are the other person isn’t even aware something that seems normal to them can bother someone else. If the problem is never addressed, there won’t be a resolution, and it can, and most likely will, lead to resentment. • Establish rules about cleaning,

borrowing, etc. Leaving dishes in the sink and waiting until someone else cleans them may have worked when living with the parents, but now it will probably just lead to a pissed-off roommate and a nasty mess. The same can be said of borrowing something without permission, especially if it turns up lost or damaged. • Most places offer a chance for residents to write down what kind of roommate they want and what their own habits are like. It sounds simple, but don’t rely on these. Don’t say you’re a partier if you like to go to bed before midnight. And don’t say you’re studious if you’ve never set foot in a library. Be honest about who you are and what you’re looking for. Chances are, if others are honest as well, you’ll be matched with someone similar to you.

Wash your dishes to avoid roommate altercations.

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or those not so lucky to pick their own roommates, or those willing to enter the roommate roulette and have a random person assigned to live with them, the weeks leading up to meeting a new roomie can be a little nerve-wracking. Even for students who have roomed with a stranger before, the whole process can be a bit intimidating. Though most people wish to become good friends with their roommates, or, at the very least, have an amicable relationship, sometimes problems arise and things don’t go as planned. The following are some seemingly obvious tips that are not followed nearly enough when living with a stranger: • Get to know future roommates before living together. Just talking about who’s going to bring the TV and who’s going to bring the printer isn’t enough. If it’s possible to meet before the move-in day, definitely do so. Sure, Facebook can tell a lot about a person, but it can sometimes be deceiving. Talking to someone over e-mail or text messages just isn’t the same as meeting him or her face-to-face. Knowing someone’s quirks or odd habits beforehand can help prepare a smoother transition when the time comes to move in. • Take an interest in them. Learn about their hobbies or what they do with their free time, especially if it is something that seems a little out-there. However, don’t force a friendship when the chemistry is clearly not there. Don’t expect to be best friends. The other person might just want to use the dorm as

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Apartment amenities Avalon Place • www.avalonplace.info 6676 UTSA Blvd., 78249• (210) 877-0400 • Complimentary Internet • Built-In Microwave • Cable • Wood Floors • Full-Size Washer & Dryer • Rentable Carports La Cantera Estates • www.estatesofcantera.com 18385 Babcock Road, 78255 • (888)-299-1457 • Full-size range and microwave • Washer and dryer connections • High speed internet access available • High-definition cable TV • Convenient elevator access • Gated community with car gate openers

High View Place • www.highviewplace.info 15949 Chase Hill Blvd., 78256 • (210) 888-2112 • Full-Size Washer & Dryer • Built-In Microwave • Dishwasher • Garbage Disposal • Cable and Phone • Complimentary Internet Madera • www.maderautsa.com 8102 W. Hausman Road, 78249 • (210) 690-8872 • Fully furnished • Full-sized washer and dryer • Microwave • Intrusion alarms • Walk-in closets available • Water and trash included

Hill Country Place • www.hillcountryplace.info 6222 UTSA Blvd., 78249 • (210) 888-3100 • Complimentary Internet • Cable with HBO • Built-In Microwave • Dishwasher •Garbage Disposal • Eat-In Kitchen with Barstools

Outpost • www.theoutpostsanantonio.com 6802 UTSA Blvd., 78249 •(210) 694-4777 • Furnished apartments • Private balconies • Hardwood-style floors • Full-sized refrigerator with ice maker • Full-sized washer and dryer • Black appliances


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The Paisano Presents: Collge Living Guide