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Nov. 15, 2018

Cover by Sylvia Freeman | staff illustrator


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News

Editorial: YAF lawsuit unnecessary, harmful pittnews.com

BEN SHAPIRO APPEARANCE SPARKS CONTROVERSY

Andrew O’Brien For The Pitt News

On his tour of college campuses this fall, conservative author and political commentator Ben Shapiro has spoken to sold-out rooms on visits that have become famous for protests and controversy. His visit to Pitt Wednesday night was no exception when it came to audience size — Shapiro spoke to a sold-out crowd in Alumni Hall about the Tree of Life shooting and his experience of antiSemitism on both the right and the left. “White supremacist anti-Semitism is vile,” Shapiro, who is Jewish, said. “But if the only kind of anti-Semitism you’re concerned about is the type that backs your own political narrative, you’re not really concerned about anti-Semitism.” The event was hosted by the Pitt College Republicans and sponsored by Young America’s Foundation, the conservative youth organization backing Shapiro’s campus tour around the country. Tickets for the event were made available to students with a valid Pitt ID for free at the end of October, which sold out quickly. Shapiro initially spoke for about 15 minutes on anti-Semitism and the hate crime at the Tree of Life synagogue. He said it’s sometimes difficult to protect people from events such as the massacre. “The big mistake that people make about the government is that they think the government can solve all of our problems,” Shapiro said. “It can’t protect us from every bad thing that is going to happen in our lives.” Afterward, Shapiro accepted questions from students in the audience. Some — like a student who challenged statements Shapiro had made about transgender sui-

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Ben Shapiro spoke at the 2016 Politicon at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. courtesy of gage skidmore cide rates — openly disagreed with Shapiro’s politics, while others asked him to explain his thoughts about net neutrality and gun control. Although Shapiro’s visits to college campuses are often met with heavy student protests, backlash Tuesday night was limited and quiet. A group of students staged a peaceful protest outside of Alumni Hall before the event, where they held a rainbow banner that read “Our Judaism Values Everyone Except Fascists.” The demonstration was followed with a teach-in at the William Pitt Union where students and community members spoke about anti-Semitism and “neo-fascist rhetoric.” Nick Giangiulio, a senior studying philosophy and philosophy of science, stood with the protesters from the beginning. He said peaceful protesters help break down misconceptions that liberal

viewpoints not often heard on campus. “I’m hoping to hear some different viewpoints that we don’t hear a lot on [Pitt’s] campus,” Booth said. “It shouldn’t be YAF’s fault that people are too intolerant to let a man speak, but that’s just how it is nowadays.” Another attendee, Charles Machiko, said his own school — Washington & Jefferson College in Washington — suffers from a lack of diverse opinion. Machiko and some friends made the 45-minute drive early this afternoon to be some of the first in the standby line for people who would be let in after ticket-holders. “I think college campuses need to have a diversity of ideas. I’ve experienced that firsthand [in class]. I was shut down because the teacher was a liberal,” Machiko said. Shapiro’s fans are aware of his controversial reputation, but many think he’s mischaracterized. Jordan Koupal, a senior studying economics at Pitt, said the misconceptions of Shapiro are humorous. “I think there’s a lot of misconceptions that what he says is hateful. It’s laughable that people think that,” Koupal said. “He really knows what’s going on.” Solomon Heisey, a sophomore business information systems major, stood in line for Shapiro’s lecture across the stairs from the protest. Heisey agrees with much of Shapiro’s politics but said he respected the protesters’ rights to express their own views. “[Shapiro is] Jewish. I don’t think he really represents fascism,” Heisey said. “But they can believe in whatever they want.”

protests are disorganized and angry. “[Shapiro is] someone who wants to kick up a lot of dust and bait people into becoming this stereotype he’s trying to paint,” Giangiulio said. “We tailored our tactics towards who Ben Shapiro is and the audience he was trying to cultivate.” Another complication arose earlier Tuesday when YAF threatened to sue Pitt after the University imposed a $5,546.52 security fee for Shapiro’s visit. The fee was high because of concerns about expected “controversy” and “protests,” YAF said in a statement, adding that though the organization would pay the fee, it intends to “explore all legal remedies including litigation.” Some students at the event thought the added security fee was unfair. Pitt senior finance major Chris Booth, a fan of Dylan Giacobbe and Mario Cattabiani Shapiro’s podcast, said while he disagreed III contributed reporting. with the fee, he was still excited to hear

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YAF THREATENS LAWSUIT

COMMITTEE HEARS

AGAINST PITT OVER

STUDENT CONCERNS

BEN SHAPIRO SECURITY FEE REGARDING DIVESTMENT Nina Kneuer and Sarah Shearer The Pitt News Staff

Ben Shapiro spoke at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. courtesy of gage skidmore

Christian Snyder Editor-in-Chief

The day before conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro’s appearance at Alumni Hall, the organization sponsoring his nationwide tour of college campuses threatened to sue Pitt for imposing an additional security fee, alleging the fee is unconstitutional. “Young America’s Foundation will pay the $5,546.52 security fee for tomorrow’s campus lecture,” the organization’s Tuesday statement said. “However, please note that our promise to pay this fee is in protest. We believe that the University of Pittsburgh’s security fee policy is deeply flawed — containing serious constitutional defects — and that because of these defects, the resulting $5,546.52 security fee is viewpoint discriminatory.” Pitt spokesperson Joe Miksch said University police and the Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner worked together to determine the security needs, and that Pitt “generally requires” performers and speakers to pay their own security fees. “Consistent with the First Amendment, the content and viewpoint of the speaker’s or performer’s message and the community’s reaction or expected reaction to the event will not be considered when determining the security fee to be paid by the hosting organization,” he said. The sold-out event was sponsored by YAF and hosted by Pitt College Republicans. Shapiro, who is the editor-in-chief of

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The Daily Wire and host of The Ben Shapiro Show, is regularly met with protests when he visits college campuses. When he spoke at the University of California Berkeley in September 2017, about 1,000 people gathered for protests, which resulted in nine arrests. UC Berkeley charged the Berkeley College Republicans $15,738 for security. A group of Jewish students, who published an op-ed about the Tree of Life shooting in The Pitt News Nov. 4, wrote an open letter opposing Shapiro’s visit. There was a protest planned to start before Shapiro spoke, and the protest’s organizers also hosted an educational session in about antiSemitism and transphobia. “Ostensibly, we know that you are like us — Jewish,” the letter says of Shapiro, a 34-year-old California native. “However, your Judaism does not invoke the values of our religion, history, heritage, and culture: justice for the oppressed.” In its threatened legal action against Pitt, YAF has retained the law firm Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF is a Christian law firm that has represented the Colorado bakery that refused service to a gay couple, as well as the craft store Hobby Lobby, which denied contraceptive health-care coverage to its employees. ADF has also created model legislation to deny transgender people the right to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity. The Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes ADF as a hate group.

The road toward Pitt divestment has been long — involving urges from student groups like Fossil Free Pitt Coalition, sit-ins in the Cathedral of Learning and countless painted banners. But on Wednesday, the effort took what may be the largest step it

making,” Bailey said. Two committee members headed the town hall — David Denis, a Pitt professor of finance and chair of the committee, and Young Sarah Grguras, a Pitt environmental studies senior and student representative member of the committee. Students, faculty and community members discussed factors in Univer-

Members of the Fossil Free Pitt Coalition set up a cardboard “pipeline” in the Cathedral in December 2016. tpn file photo has to date. “There’s a lot to do, but this is really really important that this is happening,” said Hannah Bailey, Pitt sophomore and urban studies major. After years of activism and hard work by students, Pitt administrators publicly opened their minds to divesting the school’s endowment — which, in 2016, was $3.52 billion — from fossil fuels at a town hall meeting Wednesday, the first for Pitt’s new Socially Responsible Investments Committee. “This has been a long time in the

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sity investing, including socially responsible investments. Denis opened the floor to attendees to express their thoughts and priorities in investing. As expressed in the ongoing snaps and claps of approval to most who gave their opinions and spoke, many town hall attendees supported the possibility of the University breaking ties with their fossil fuels investments. Pitt junior and urban studies major Anais Peterson agreed. “It would make sense for the committee’s next steps to make a See Divestment on page 5

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Divestment, pg. 4 very strong recommendation to the board that [fossil fuel divestment] is something students care about,” Peterson said. “[Fossil fuel divestment] is something that needs to happen as soon as possible, because I think that’s something we heard said over and over here tonight.” Peterson is a member of the Fossil Free Pitt Coalition, an organization whose goal has been to foster collaboration within the University and investment committees to discuss ways Pitt can invest money in responsible ways. “This University runs because students are spending their money here,” Peterson said. “It shouldn’t be a board of 36 people making those calls of where Pitt puts money, it should be students who have a voice in this process.” Community member Mark Dixon, a filmmaker and activist in the Squirrel Hill community, was glad to see the focus on divestment. As a divestment advocate, Dixon said he hopes Pitt will become a university that works for its students. “If the University, through its investment decision, undermines the potential for its students to live a good future, then it’s difficult to trust the University on what it’s teaching and how it’s teaching,” Dixon said. “It undermines the credibility and authority of the University.” Bailey, a new member to the Fossil Free Pitt Coalition, agreed that the University should prioritize students’ thoughts and needs when deciding where to spend its money — especially when investing in fossil fuels. “We are just now finally winning this committee that we are able to use as a vehicle to try to pressure the administration to divest, because before that wasn’t even an option at all,” Bailey said. Bailey said since the University has a mission to its students and to its community, especially within environmental concerns, it’s important that it gives students a voice. “The University’s mission is to serve its students and serve its community,” Bailey said. “So if administra-

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tion does not allow us to have a voice then the future is out of our hands.” Bailey also said town hall meetings are a great opportunity for students to make change right on campus. “I think that if you care about the environment and economic and environmental security, making changes here and pressuring the University here to step out of the fossil fuel industry is a good way to start to care about these types of issues, because it’s so close to home,” Bailey said. Many attendees had strong opin-

ions on the University’s course of action in fossil fuels and where money could be spent, but across them all was a common theme of deep care for the University of Pittsburgh community. “I’m speaking out because I want the University to succeed,” Dixon said. Peterson said although town hall meetings and a committee were a big step in the right direction for the Fossil Free Pitt Coalition, attending the occasional meeting would not be enough. “Students really have to be diligent

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in making sure that they’re involved throughout the process, otherwise this committee might not be used to create any change at the institutional level,” Peterson said. The next town hall meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Kurtzman Room of the William Pitt Union. “It’s not over until Pitt pledges to divest, there have been a lot of universities that have done so,” Bailey said. “These are things that are possible.”

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RENTAL GUIDE

LUXURY HOUSING AFFECTS OAKLAND GENTRIFICATION

Jon Moss Staff Writer

As new luxury apartment buildings rise over Oakland’s skyline, gentrification and rising rents may also be on the horizon. In recent years, Forbes and Fifth avenues and the corner of Craig Street and Centre Avenue have become homes to several luxury apartment construction sites in Oakland, leading to questions from students and housing analysts about whether a good quality of living at an affordable price will be available in the greater Oakland area in the future. SkyVue Apartments, a 389-unit building located across Forbes Avenue from UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, was completed in 2016. Only two blocks away, The Bridge on Forbes will open in fall 2019 with 197 units. Also joining the housing supply is the City’s second-largest apartment building still under construction, One on Centre — originally launched publicly as The Empire — with 329 new units across 17 floors at the corner of Craig Street and Centre Avenue in North Oakland. The construction has elevated concerns of increased gentrification and the potential effects on rent pricing near Pitt’s campus. But according to Craig Wack, a spokesperson for the One on Centre’s parent company, Greystar, the complex is filling a gap in the student housing market.

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“The One on Centre apartments A report issued in April by CBRE provide students at the University of Group Inc., a multinational commerPittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon Uni- cial real estate services and investversity with much-needed, purpose- ment firm formerly known as Coldwell built student housing in the heart of Banker Richard Ellis, details the curthe East Oakland neighborhood,” Wack rent state of Pittsburgh’s multifamsaid. “One on Centre affords students ily housing market and shines a light a value unmatched by other student on rent increases over the last several housing options in Pittsburgh.” years. Dr. Michael Glass, a professor in According to the firm, rent increasPitt’s urban studies program, is worried es are pervasive across the City. After about potential effects from the new reaching a low point in 2009 at less housing, such than $1.30 as neighborper square foot, the avhood conflict or large-scale erage rent in d e m o g r ap h P i t t s b u r g h’s multifamily ic changes. market rose However, he to $1.55 per believes the square foot new conin 2017 — a struction nearly 20 may not be Matthew Gillespie percent inentirely to Co-author of the CBRE report blame for crease in only rent hikes. eight years, “One of or a 2.4 perthe terms that’s sometimes used to de- cent increase each year. A different measure of the change in scribe the housing situation adjacent to university districts is … ‘stugentri- Pittsburgh housing prices, quantified fication,’” Glass said. “I don’t think it’s by an index from the Federal Reserve necessarily just the arrival of the new Bank of St. Louis, has found a similarly housing … that’s causing the cascading large increase — 23.9 percent — from effects of decreasing housing afford- the second quarter of 2009 through the ability. It’s just the general desire of first quarter of this year. Some students are beginning to feel students to want to be within proximity of where they have their classrooms the rent pressure, and others have beand social spaces.” gun to notice the polarizing effect be-

It basically just goes back to location, location, location.

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tween apartment classes near campus. Natalie Stadler, a junior studying communication, is in favor of living off-campus, but is wary that the new construction won’t help chip away at a shortage of more affordable apartments in Oakland. Stadler currently lives in a three-unit apartment building on Dawson Street in South Oakland with a roommate. “I definitely think it’s way cheaper to live off-campus,” Stadler said. “But I just think in terms of off-campus housing … you can get a really cheap place or a really expensive place. There’s nowhere in between that’s a comfortable price for a nice quality of living.” This lack of mid-range-priced apartments, coupled with an overall increase in rents, may be starting to have an effect on whether students choose to live in Oakland. Some have even decided to live in neighborhoods beyond Oakland, commuting to campus every day. “[Students] are willing to be in different places like Friendship, Shadyside — even parts of Lawrenceville, if they can afford it — to a degree I haven’t seen in previous years,” Glass said of his students. Matthew Gillespie, co-author of the CBRE report and production analyst for debt and structured finance, is optimistic that the housing market will eventually return to a pricing equilibrium. “It basically just goes back to See Gentrification on page 8

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Gentrification, pg. 6 location, location, location,” Gillespie said of the Oakland housing market. “Everyone wants — the students want — to be close to the University.” Gillespie believes the new developments under construction are part of the solution to the shortage of housing in the greater Oakland area. “So far, they have absorbed well, meaning that they are well-occupied,” Gillespie said. “So I do think they are helping with the undersupply.” In South Oakland, however, students trying to make the best of their situations are faced with the real-world consequences of the market’s current state — another round of hikes to their rents in the near future. “Whenever a neighborhood undergoes significant change, whether it’s the average price point for housing in that area, or if it’s a new community coming in … that can really lead to a lot of, uh, different types of antagonism,” Glass said. “You want to avoid that because that can lead to some really bad neighborhood conflicts.”

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Pittsburgh housing Market oakland snaPshot

Z I L L O W 'S H O M E  V A L U E  I N D E X

resident PoPulation:

P I T T S B UR G H

26,923

$140,000.00

4.5% Population Growth 2010-2017

total units:

$120,000.00

4,581

$100,000.00

4.1% Vacancy Rate

$80,000.00 $60,000.00 $40,000.00 $20,000.00 $0.00 2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

average household incoMe:

$42,999

Median hoMe value:

HOUSE P RICE  INDEX  (HPI)  C OMPARISION  

$133,185

PITTSBURGH VS.  WASHINGTON,  D .C.  VS.  PORTLAND,  ORE.  VS.  SEATTLE 350

300

250

Seattle Portland, Ore. Washington,  D .C.

200

Pittsburgh

150

100 2000

average Monthly rent: 1 bedrooM

$1,134

2 bedrooM

studio

$1,535

$986 2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

Source: Zillow and Federal Reserve

2016

2018

rent

Per

average

$1.70

square Foot: vs.

skyvue

$2.37

Graphic by: Danie Walsh | STAFF ILLUSTRATOR

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HIGH-RISE APARTMENTS OFFER LUXURY OFF-CAMPUS LIVING TO STUDENTS Sid Lingala Staff Writer

Splurging on top-of-the-line and lavish living arrangements is usually the last thing that cost-conscious students do. But Oakland is seeing a rise in the construction of luxurious apartments. Amanda Weaver, a community manager at One on Centre apartments, credits the building’s recent opening as a landmark for student living. “We were the first off-campus dedicated luxury student housing last year. Now, we have Bridge on Forbes coming in, so they’ll have it a little bit easier than we did because we kind of paved the way for them,” Weaver said. “There’s a lot of off-campus housing in the Oakland area, but not like this.” One on Centre, a 17-story building with 329 rooms, opened on Aug. 24 and is still under construction after two full years of work. Meanwhile, The Bridge on Forbes apartments, which contains 197 rooms, is expected to be

One on Centre — a 17-story building with 329 rooms and prices starting at $999 — opened in August after two years of construction. Knox Coulter| staff photographer Brock Birden, the community manager at there isn’t much luxurious living — and luxury completed by August 2019. Both apartments offer studios, one-bedroom and one-bathroom, The Bridge on Forbes, said there is a need for apartments are novel options to residents in the two-bedroom and two-bathroom and three- higher-end living arrangements because other area. than its sister property, SkyVue Apartments, bedroom and three-bathroom options. See Luxury on page 12

PIT T S TUDENT S E XPLORE OFF-C AMPUS LIVING OP TIONS

Maggie Young

For The Pitt News Most on-campus residences at Pitt allow students to wake up five minutes before class starts without being late. But with the ease of on-campus housing comes smaller spaces and stricter rules. In search of cozier, cheaper options, Pitt students will start exploring housing offcampus — both near and far. Pitt students reside in multiple areas around the City, including neighborhoods such as Mt. Washington, Shadyside, North Oakland and South Oakland. Commutes to campus can vary from a 10-minute walk to an hour-long bus ride. While a majority of students living offcampus live in North and South Oakland, Asher Epstein, a junior studying physics, has a much longer commute to class than

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many off-campus residents from his apartment near Mt. Washington. Epstein said it takes him anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half to get to Oakland from his apartment, which his family owns. “It’s pretty stressful trying to catch the bus,” Epstein said. “There’s been a few times where I’ve left my house an hour before my class starts and I end up being 15 to 20 minutes late. One time I was 30 minutes late and I was actually marked absent.” Epstein has lived all over Pittsburgh — including Tower A in South Oakland and currently an apartment in Allentown, which sits a little farther past Mt. Washington but is still positioned on the overlook. While he mostly keeps to himself in his off-campus residence, Epstein said he

enjoys the “metal scene” in Allentown. A variety of tattoo parlors and small businesses such as Black Forest Coffee and SuperMonkey, a record store, create an atmosphere for listeners of the metal genre. “I like the area, it’s just a little shady. But it’s my kind of shady,” Epstein said. Speaking of shady, recent grad Jessie Wallace recommends living in Shadyside. Wallace, now a resident of East Liberty, graduated from Pitt in the spring of 2018 after living in a Shadyside apartment for her junior and senior year, where she enjoyed the quiet atmosphere. “I didn’t go out a whole lot or go to parties that much,” Wallace said. “It was nice to go to Shadyside where it was quieter and more residential and I honestly loved it. It’s just like going to high school, you have to drive to school so it’s kind of the

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same idea.” Though Shadyside is a long walking distance from campus, Wallace owned a car and would drive it to campus. She said she doesn’t think the commute should deter students from wanting to live in the neighborhood since Port Authority buses regularly pass through on their way to Oakland. The proximity to stores like Target and Trader Joe’s and the variety of restaurants and shops were enough to convince Wallace that Shadyside was her best choice. “If there’s someone who likes the residential feel, in your own world but still not that far away from campus, I totally recommend it,” Wallace said. Before deciding on Shadyside, Wallace debated living in South Oakland her See Off-Campus on page 10

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Off-Campus, pg. 9 junior year, but ultimately went with the former. But like a number of students, Luca Shanley, a sophomore studying neuroscience and Spanish, figured that South Oakland was his best option for off-campus housing. “It’s kind of a hike from campus,” Shanley said. “But I like the freedom of not having an RA, and having my own room is the best thing ever. My friends live close so that’s always a plus, too.” Originally from Boston, Shanley said housing in South Oakland is much cheaper than in his native city. However, he said the quality of the houses and apartments in South Oakland don’t always meet the expectations of students. The cracks in his ceiling and his broken garbage disposal has aggravated Shanley since he moved in earlier this year. Epstein, who lived South Oakland his sophomore year, said it can be a little dirty, but the social benefits outweigh the frustrations that come with living there. “South Oakland itself is awesome,” Epstein said. “It’s kinda shady … kinda

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(Pictured) The 300 block of Oakland Avenue. Kaycee Orwig | staff photographer gross, but regardless of all that it’s really roommate to rent their current apartment fun … just by living in South Oakland in South Oakland. “I’d recommend it for a Pitt stuyou’re going to meet a lot more people dent,” Shanley said. “As long as they’re and make fun memories.” Regardless of the potential setbacks, OK with living conditions that are less Shanley said the prime location and sense than what they are probably used to at of a college community drove him and his home.”

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While some students are drawn to living in South Oakland, others live up the hill in North Oakland. Joe Huber, a junior studying computer science, said life there isn’t that bad. “It’s downhill to all my classes which is nice,” Huber said. “The walk back is all uphill ... strengthening my legs.” Huber and his roommates have been living in North Oakland since the beginning of the semester. Compared to where his friends live in South Oakland, Huber said he feels that houses in North Oakland have more privacy. He said the heightened privacy works out well for him, since he considers himself to be “kind of a hermit,” usually spending time in his own room if he’s not in class or at a friend’s place down the hill. Regardless of the distance and uphill climb, Huber said living in North Oakland is “not too bad,” just because he loves the overall Oakland community. “The house itself is kind of ‘meh,’” Huber said. “We’ve had some problems before we moved in here, but we’ve managed to make it home.”

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Luxury, pg. 9 “Oakland is a great place that just needs new fresh housing here,” Birden said. “You don’t have just one choice. You can go to singlefamily living or a luxury community like The Bridge on Forbes.” Weaver said the luxuriousness of One on Centre comes from aspects like quality finishes on cabinets and the floor to the numerous furniture pieces included with the room. “We have all stainless-steel appliances and quartz countertops, which is kind of more high-end. But it’s durable as well,” Weaver said. “We also offer 50-inch smart TVs in our units as well. So that kind of caters itself to be a luxury. We also have Tempur-Pedic mattresses, which is something that you probably don’t see many places.” Birden also said The Bridge on Forbes will appeal to residents through premium finishes and furniture similar to what is offered at One on Centre. Furthermore, rooms include bells and whistles that would not be expected at other living arrangements. “We have soft-close cabinets, so if you have roommates that cook late, you know they’re not slamming cabinets. You have under-cabi-

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net lighting,” Birden said. “If you like to shave or do your makeup, you now have this magnifying glass in your bathroom. It’s like they really thought of everything.” The amenities each building offers further substantiate their claims to upscale living. Both buildings offer fitness centers, community spaces, grilling areas and recreational centers. But unlike other high-end buildings, these offer unique amenities like a PGA Tour golf simulator in One on Centre and a zen garden at The Bridge on Forbes. “The golf simulator’s kind of like over-thetop. It’s something that residents love to have, but it’s not necessarily a need for them,” Weaver said. “We also have a sauna.” Birden said while The Bridge on Forbes is conducive to student living with single and group-study rooms, the apartment is not exclusively student housing. Weaver, on the other hand, said One on Centre is geared to students with amenities such as computer labs, study and conference rooms and free printing. “At other older properties of mine, we tend to have movie rooms and stuff like that. They don’t get used very often,” Weaver said. “We’ve kind of seen what students really want and need and we’ve catered our buildings to those

things. Study rooms are one thing that I can tell you, when we go there, will probably all be full.” Both buildings also have leasing options that are geared towards students. Rather than offering units, both apartments lease by the bed. Residents can live with their friends or use a roommate-matching service that accounts for information about habits and interests. Birden said this is a better and individualized alternative to students than traditional leasing, where a group of students would have to co-sign a lease together. An individual lease would avoid problems in the case of a roommate wanting to leave the arrangement. “You can still live with two other friends and if one friend decides to leave, you don’t have to worry about covering their rent,” Birden said. “You just worry about what you signed for. It makes it super simple on you.” But the many amenities and splendors offered by these buildings are accompanied with a steep price. One on Centre’s rates start at $999 for a three-bedroom and threebathroom apartment, and rise to $1,655 for a one-bedroom and one-bathroom apartment. The Bridge on Forbes starts at $965 for a threebedroom apartment and goes up to $1,710 for a one-bedroom. Weaver said the cost of luxury apartments

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is worth the convenience that comes from amenities included with the rent. “A lot of the value comes in the things that we offer with our apartments. So having fully furnished apartments means you don’t have to buy your own furniture. It makes moving day a lot easier,” Weaver said. “That’s why the price is higher. Because we do offer those amenities included in the rent price and you’re not having to pay extra.” Despite the value Weaver discussed, Kyle Chang, a sophomore biology major, said luxury apartments lack many of the conveniences that on-campus dormitories have — even though they are similarly priced. “I think [luxury apartments] are not worth as much as they cost,” Chang said. “A dorm has the luxuries of locations and dining passes so it’s really convenient. Even though dorming is pricey, it’s not as pricey as it can be.” Chang said the advent of luxury apartments in Oakland has the potential for opening up a new space for students. “I think luxury apartments are for students who are more drawn to those facilities, as opposed to school facilities,” Chang said. “They’ll have their own little micro environment separated from the school environment because they are staying in their own apartments.”

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column

column

MIDDLE GROUND NECESSARY FOR STUDENT HOUSING OPTIONS

Mackenzie Oster For The Pitt News

House and apartment hunting in Oakland leaves many students on the fence about where they’re going to reside the following school year — especially since the neighborhood has come to offer a narrow selection of decent student housing opportunities at this time of the year. Much like other Pitt students, I recently endured the hunt for where I’ll settle next year. In my most recent apartment visit, I was pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness of the apartment. My roommate and I decided it would be an acceptable place to spend our sophomore year. The $650/month rent for each of us didn’t include utilities and seemed pretty expensive considering the various holes in the walls and worn-out carpet. But my roommate and I were desperate to secure a living space, so we decided to sign the lease. The night before signing, we decided to check out the reviews on the apartment. Almost every review left a one-out-of-five star rating. Residents were enraged that only one out of the several buildings had laundry and that laundry cost $4 per load. They also spoke heavily of the unresponsive management when it came to repairs and requests. One particular review accounted an incident of mold in the apartment’s walls, causing a resident to be hospitalized. We decided not to sign the lease and kept looking. This time of year, students compete neck and neck to secure their living space for the following year. The pressure to secure a lease is so immense and it isn’t easy to find a moderately priced place to live in Oakland. Oakland offers a slim selection of housing options. When touring, you’re likely to find two levels of housing. The first is a run-down apartment or housing complex that most likely lies in the depths of Central Oakland. Apartments and houses typically come unfurnished, without utilities included in the rent and in poor condition

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for those moving in. “Unless you have a connection to someone that has a nice house or apartment and can personally hand you the lease,” sophomore Arthur Xiao said, “there’s a really slim chance that you’ll find a place that isn’t immensely run-down and in poor condition, because there’s thousands of students competing for the same few nice places that exist around here.” The second and more recent development in living situations in Oakland is the addition of luxury living. Housing situations such as SkyVue apartments and The Bridge on Forbes offer a grand perception of student housing. These apartments are located on Forbes Avenue, catching the eye upon first entering Oakland. However, residents pay the price for the accessibility that the two buildings offer. The going rate of such luxurious living starts at around $1,600 a month for a one-bed, one-bath studio apartment and can range up to $3,000 for a three-bed, twobath apartment. The apartments advertise their high-class amenities, highlighting the “granite countertops, wood floors in common areas, and plush carpeted bedrooms.” SkyVue also uses Oakland’s location as a marketing tactic, detailing the accessibility of Pittsburgh, shopping options, nightlife and restaurants available. Affordable housing is something that concerns the majority of students. Seventyone percent of all students graduating from four-year colleges in 2010 had student-loan debt. Students who pay in-state tuition at Pitt have the advantage of paying about $10,000 less than those who come from out of state, and roughly two-thirds of Pitt students are in-state residents. First-year Jacob Kefalos said that factored into his decision to attend Pitt. “Personally, I chose to stay in-state for college because it would mean that I would save around $10,000 a year, which is a significant amount when added up over the See Oster on page 16

HOUSE HUNTERS: OAKLAND EDITION

Allison Dantinne Staff Columnist

There comes a time in every Pitt student’s life when even grilled-cheese day at Market doesn’t make your on-campus living experience any less dismal. You’re ready to move on to bigger and better things. You’re an adult. You want to make grilled cheese yourself, whenever you want it. Cue the theme music — this is House Hunters: Oakland Edition. So, you gather up as many people as you can bear to live with, figure out how much you can spend, add a few hundred to that total just for fun, scroll through Craigslist and pull up a few contenders to go see. After finally catching the elusive 40B, you all reach the first house. You notice the porch is held up by splintering two-by-fours, and based on the two weeks of physics you took back in your first year, you know they can’t support this slab of concrete. “But hey,” your future roommate comments, “that’s a sick porch.” And they’re right. It is a pretty sick porch, even though it looks like it would crumble if someone threw an empty can of Natty Light at a weak point. If you really wanted to take a risk, you could put a couple lawn chairs out there and watch drunk people stumble over the piling trash. You grin at the thought, and continue through the house. The first thing you notice is that all the walls are yellow — the shade of yellow that comes to mind when you think of the word “tuberculosis.” The living room, the bedrooms and the kitchen are all covered in the deplorable shade. Even the coveted subway-tile backsplash is tainted with this putrid color, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You consider that looking at these walls for a whole year might take five years off the back end of your life, or maybe it’s just a theme — a theme to your sad, sad life. But then, as the landlord shows you the washer and dryer, you take in the room around you — the basement. It is a beautiful, concretefloored basement. She’s beauty. She’s grace. She’s the perfect basement for a rager. God shines a light upon your mortal soul, and you shine the

November 15, 2018

14 strands of twitching, half-lit Christmas lights back. The beautiful basement is unfortunately above your budget, and your roommates won’t agree that it’s worth it to raise the budget. Wiping a single tear from your eye, you realize this is not the house for you. You look at the next place. It’s SkyVue Apartments, and your mom said no, because a bunch of 20-year-olds don’t deserve to live in luxury. So that’s cancelled. A few days later, you trek across the Boulevard of the Allies to an apartment so cheap you assume you’re walking to the physical, house-shaped version of a pyramid scheme. The outside seems nice and unassuming, like a real adult person could have lived there. You enter the living room to find pleasant cream carpeting and comfortable sofas. One of your roommates touches a sofa, almost as if to see if it’s real. You stroke the couch as well. They are real. And the landlord says they come with the house. The kitchen is normal. The basement is normal. As you stand in the normal basement, taking in the walls with no markings, the landlord explains there’s no washer and dryer, but there is a laundromat a few minutes away. You nod understandingly, and your roommates do the same, before peacefully leaving the house, questioning the inner workings of reality and what could have led you to this dream house. Could it be this easy? You walk back to campus, passing the socalled laundromat — spelled “landromt” on the sign. It doesn’t seem terrible. This could be your house. But then you remember winter. You think of ice and 8-degree wind gusts and slipping around on dirty slush as you haul your laundry basket those few minutes. You picture yourself running madly across the Boulevard, slipping, splayed out like a starfish suctioned to the wall of its tank, destined to live out its life stuck in that position. You and your roommates picture it all at once, then shake out of the nightmare at the See Dantinne on page 16

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Oster, pg. 14 course of four years,” Kefalos said. “Staying in-state will leave me paying less in student loans in the future.” The residents of Pitt’s newest and nicest dorm building, Nordenberg Hall, pay about $600 a month, which is $3,675 for the semester, making it the most expensive rooming situation offered. Because living on campus is typical for a first-year student, people pay the price without much complaint. However, finding a moderately priced and nice apartment to reside in for the remainder of college on the outskirts of Oakland is now much harder to achieve. The addition of SkyVue apartments and The Bridge on Forbes are huge infrastructure projects. Pitt was not affiliated with the incorporation of such grand living additions. But rather than adding the infrastructure of such expensive and outrageous student living opportunities, it would be much more efficient if landlords took it upon themselves to renovate their properties in Eli Savage | STAFF ILLUSTRATOR

order to compete with these luxury student living additions. Repairing the infrastructure that currently stands would benefit the landlords, making their properties more attractive in a market that includes new grandeur apartment complexes. This would result in more moderate living opportunities for student residents. The money saved repairing the current living environment will allow for the landlord’s properties to remain appealing to more students and stay competitive on the market. In the meantime, students should take caution and be sure to tour and inspect the living space before signing any leases. Keep in mind that landlords know students when they see them and most likely assume that a parent is helping to pay. So know what price range is affordable going into the tour, ask as many questions about the complex as possible to address any potential problems and get a feel for the reliability of the landowner.

Eli Savage | STAFF ILLUSTRATOR

Dantinne, pg. 14 same time. You decide that this is not your house. The third and final house is modest on the outside. There is no sick porch, but there also isn’t much garbage on the sidewalk. The smirking landlord leads you into the house, pointing at things, explaining prices. But all you can focus on is the sheer amount of holes scattered around the house. You find holes in the baseboards, the corners of rooms, by the radiators. “What do they mean?” you whisper to your roommate. They only squint at you, and can only say “What?” Yes. Your roommate understands the issue here, and that you may possibly have to pull them into a Nicholas Cage fantasy because you’re starting to think the Declaration of Independence may be hidden in one of these holes. The landlord then leads you all to the bedrooms, only for you to find more holes at the bottom of the closet. All the rooms you’ve seen are like this, and you can’t understand why. You enter the bathroom, inspecting the shower stall and adequate counter space. The landlord chimes in with how nice his relationship with his tenants are. You nod and smile. The landlord follows this with a story about how a tenant accidentally sent him “racy pictures, you know, bra … underwear,” but “he didn’t mind.” You now stare aimlessly at the countertop, the

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November 15, 2018

swirls and speckles of the granite. You wish he really did mind. Your roommates follow him back downstairs to the kitchen while you stand in the bathroom, looking into the mirror, your bloodshot eyes staring back at you, questioning how you got here. Your roomates are downstairs and it’s a bit too quiet for comfort, so you head downstairs to join them. Then you see it. A mouse pops its little brown head out of the corner hole by the kitchen trash can. The mouse shoots across the floor, wiggling under the radiator in the opposite corner. This is the mouse’s house. This is not the house for you. You leave feeling dejected, bested by the Oakland housing market. Nothing you look at seems to work out. Upon entering your on-campus housing, a rush of warmth welcomes you with open arms, pulling you into its University-owned embrace. The security guard swipes you in and you finally feel safe from the world of rentals. Maybe this isn’t your year. Maybe every South Oakland house is a grab bag of unwanted features, weird management and general shadiness, upcharged and packaged in excess responsibility. Every house might be an objectively terrible house until it’s your terrible house. Until then, may you be blessed with a good lottery number.

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STUDENTS’ LOVABLE PET COMPANIONS: A HASSLE AND A HELP Emma Maurice and Maggie Medoff The Pitt News Staff

Having a loyal, fluffy companion to call your own seems like every college student’s dream, but the excitement of owning a lovable pet during your four years has both its highs and lows. For junior applied developmental psychology major Nora Smith, the struggle of finding an apartment with a dog-friendly management company in South Oakland was a bit of a challenge. Faced only with options at McKee Place Apartments and SkyVue Apartments, Smith now lives in a one-bedroom apartment on McKee with her pup Jack Willoughby — an 8-month-old mini goldendoodle. “I love living alone with him — he’s the best roommate. I am a very schedule-oriented person, so it’s been pretty easy to be the only one to care

for him,” Smith said. “On occasion, I’ll have a friend walk him if I’m out for longer periods of time.” Smith attends classes Monday through Wednesday and works Thursday to Saturday — gone from her apartment about six hours a day. “I find it difficult to study on campus while having a dog — I feel guilty leaving him when I could just study at home,” Smith said. “It’s also difficult with social engagements. I always have to ask to bring my dog along.” But when she is home, she spends plenty of time walking Jack and sometimes sets him up on “doggy playdates” or takes trips to the park for additional exercise. When he has extra energy, Jack will end up running laps around the apartment, but because of how frequently Smith walks him, he is usually perfectly fine hanging out at home. See Dogs on page 18

Sophomore studio arts major Ruth-Riley Collins poses her dog Rigsby for a photo on a sunny day in Schenley Plaza. COURTESY OF RUTH-RILEY COLLINS

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO AFFORDABLE APARTMENT DECOR Shahum Ajmal

Contributing Editor Moving to a new house or apartment is can be a long, difficult process. But once you get past hauling all your boxes to your new place and figuring out how you could split that $1,200 rent between you and your roommates to be somewhat affordable, comes the fun part — decorating. Your residence has probably housed different college students every year, who’ve each left their own mark on the space, from carpet stains to old posters. Whether you believe in minimalism or have been waiting for the moment to let your creativity shine, allow me to offer some tips that you can follow to spice up your spaces. You are going to quickly feel the void of the essentials you once took for

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granted in your college dorm such as a desk, a bed and a dresser. To fix this problem in an affordable fashion, seek out your local thrift store. Pitt students can take a quick walk up to the O’Hara Student Center to do some thrift shopping at the University of Thriftsburgh — an on-campus, student-run thrift shop. For second-hand furniture and housing appliances, students can stop by Construction Junction in Point Breeze. The thrill of hunting is riveting. Call it what you want from from thrift-store chic to vintage decor, but the thrill of hunting and capturing that “can’t beat that price” is one of a kind. Step one in this process is to establish a budget. It is easy to get lost in your spending when you are finding so many items at once for bargain prices. Prioritize your shopping according to what

you need. Make sure you’ve measured the dimensions of your room once you have a basic outline for where you want things to go, so what you buy can actually fit through the door, let alone your room. Having cash on you is probably best, so you aren’t swiping away aimlessly with your debit card. Next, be open-minded. The art of thrift store shopping is that you don’t know what you’re going to find, which can be frustrating. Keep in mind that you probably won’t find everything that you were hoping for in one visit. You’ll probably need to make multiple stops at local stores and garage sales before finding that one piece that catches your eye. But through all your efforts, know that the end result will be something truly original and personal to you. Flea markets are also worth stopping

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by to soak in different art that could help narrow your scope as far as your room’s cohesiveness. Lower your standards before walking in, otherwise everything will look like junk. You might not have a clear idea of what specific items you are looking for when you first walk in, but glancing around at art could inspire you to find your inner vibe. Most pieces you find will need some refinishing. Steer away from projects that seem out of reach. You’re likely to be able to retouch a small side table with a few strokes of paint, but may run into obstacles trying to retouch a mirror or massive dresser. Stay realistic and stay true to your style. It goes without saying that you probably don’t want to buy somebody else’s mattress — or anything with a lot

See Decor on page 20

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Dogs, pg. 17 Smith’s apartment is relatively large for a one-bedroom, and she knows Jack loves his home and is well-behaved there — he doesn’t even bark when he hears people passing by outside the unit. Sophomore studio arts major Ruth-Riley Collins also lives in the dog-friendly McKee Place, alongside her 10-year-old pooch Rigsby, a cavalier spaniel and poodle mix. The McKee apartments were appealing

to Collins not only because they are dog-friendly, but because the rooms have hardwood floors instead of carpeting — which dogs can easily ruin. Unlike most students who choose to get a young puppy sometime during their time at college, Collins is caring for a senior dog, who came into her care after being passed around other family members since he was adopted when Collins was about 10 years old. “The reason I brought her is because my grandparents take care of her a lot, but they’re getting older, so

college seemed a lot more stable and consistent of an environment than where she was before,” Collins said. Although Rigsby is a senior dog, she still forces Collins to get out of the house and exercise more often during her walks. After living in Tower A her first year without much of a reason to exercise because of how easily accessible everything was, Collins is more than thankful for Rigsby for making her more active. “She gets my day going because she’s created a routine that I didn’t

have before,” Collins said. While many college students do have dogs, it is just as common for college students to not have these lovable pets — and Collins recognizes this whenever she takes Rigsby out for walks. “When you’re in a hurry and you’re on a college campus, you get stopped every 10 feet so someone can pet your dog, which can really slow people down, especially if you have a puppy,” Collins said. Even at night and especially on weekends, Rigsby draws an especially large amount of attention from college students. “At night and on weekends, you get a crowd of people who are having a good night and want to stop you so you can let them pet your dog,” Collins said. However, through all the benefits and difficulties of having Rigsby as a sophomore student, Collins appreciates simply having her around. When she comes home at the end of a stressful day, Rigsby is there waiting for her — calm and not barking, and excited to see Collins. “She kind of grounds me,” said Collins, “and makes me feel like being home is not as isolating.” Collins is currently trying to get Rigsby certified as a care dog and is going to face new challenges next year in her new apartment in SkyVue — she will be living alone and has to pay a down payment for Rigsby, as dogs can ruin the carpets and other features in the apartment. “In more ways than I can explain, she truly is an emotional support dog,” Collins said. “But I think dogs in general, it’s cliche, but they are your best friend and I think that whether or not they’re a certified emotional care dog, I think everybody’s is in one way or another.” Bridget Lazecko, a senior psychology major, also cares for a senior pet — her 11-year-old black-and-white cat named Milky. Lazecko adopted Milky from an animal shelter, leaving her unsure as to what kind of cat he is. She lives in a small two-bedroom apartment in Squirrel Hill with her See Dogs on page 19

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Dogs, pg. 18 cat — the perfect-sized home for her and her roommate to keep track of a sneaky feline like Milky, who loves to hide underneath things. “I had moved into my apartment before I adopted Milky. However, knowing that my love for animals is everlasting, I did include the ‘Is this apartment pet-friendly?’ question when touring places,” Lazecko said. “Although, I will admit it was not my top priority. Even though my apartment allows pets, other apartments my landlord manages does not. It really is a toss-up finding places.” Lazecko’s struggle with clinical depression was her main motivation for adopting Milky. Having him around is therapeutic for her — when she is feeling overwhelmed, he calms her down and acts as a constant source of happiness and unconditional support. “There is nothing like having a cat curl up to you after a long and difficult day,” Lazecko said. “I also knew that having a cat would make the apartment feel more like a home.”

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She grew up with cats throughout her childhood — having a lovable pet provided her not only with comfort and therapy, but Milky also gives her a grounding sense of home while she’s at college, far away from where she grew up. “Having Milky with me is a big pro,” said Lazecko. “He is such a cuddle bug, and having a cat to come home to at the end of a long day makes the stress of student life much more manageable.”

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Decor, pg. 17 of fabric, for that matter. Smells can be overwhelming, but if Febreeze can mask it for you, go for it. Don’t lose sight of your identity. If you’re looking for a tasteful, elegant vibe, expand your horizons to venturing out into the suburbs and take a look at their thrift stores. There, you’ll be more likely to find nice artwork and accessories like candleholders, book stands and wooden signs. You will be surprised at what you can find hidden in the back of a thrift store that you can, with a little bit of DIY skills, make look vintage. For DIY decorations on a budget and staying true to the rules laid out by your strict landlord, invest in Command strips, made by 3M. They can hold pictures, jackets, towels or anything else you want to put on your wall — and they don’t leave a hole. The key in pleasing your landlord is to deal with everything you don’t like by covering it up with non-permanent pieces. If your carpet has unremovable stains left behind the previous tenant,

Thriftsburgh made more than $5,500 in profit at its rummage sale on Aug. 27, which primarily featured household items and clothing. Sarah Cutshall | staff photographer roll out an area rug that captures your mood. If your overhead lighting washes your skin complexion, buy a few inexpensive warm-lighting lamps. If all else fails you, return home for

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With these tips, while still keeping your own budget and aesthetic in mind, your college apartment will feel like home — until the next move.

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MINOR LEAGUERS RECOUNT MAJOR INCONVENIENCES Tessa Sayers

Assistant Sports Editor After former Pitt baseball pitcher Josh Mitchell was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2017 MLB draft by the Kansas City Royals, he started reaching out to established players for advice on what he could expect. “It was a very broad and general answer of hey, the minor leagues is a grind, you better prepare for it,” Mitchell said. “So me being the knucklehead that I am, I was like, ‘Ah, I’ll be fine … I know it’s going to be tough so I just have to grind through it.’ But boy was I wrong.” Mitchell knew he would play 140 games in 150 days, but he didn’t know he would sleep on the living room floor of an apartment he shared with four other people the year after he was drafted. By then, he had been promoted from the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Royals’ Rookie Pioneer league team, to the Lexington Legends, their full season A team. The starting salary for a minor league baseball player is about $1,300 a

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month, making it hard to find decent housing. When Mitchell moved to Lexington, Kentucky, he and four of his teammates rented a three-bedroom apartment. Mitchell drew the short stick and was stuck sleeping in the living room with another teammate on mattresses the Royals organization bought for them. “We were so cheap we didn’t have a TV,” Mitchell said. “We didn’t have furniture, we only had one pot and one pan, but it ended up being nice because I think our rent for each person was $250.” A couple months later, Mitchell was called up to the Advance A Wilmington Blue Rockets. Luckily, instead of having to look and pay for an apartment, he was placed with a host family, which minor league teams try to pair players with to help with costs. Host families provide players a place to live, allowing them to save money that would have gone toward rent and food. When Mitchell arrived at his host’s family house for the first time, it was late and the

kids were already asleep. After meeting his host mom, he shut the door to his room and went to sleep, not expecting the surprise that greeted him the next morning. “I wake up in the morning to both of the kids just sitting on the bed just waiting for me to wake up,” Mitchell said. “It was like 7:30 or 8 in the morning. I didn’t know what to say or do, the first thing I said was just, ‘Good morning guys’ — that was different.” After about a week, Mitchell got used to the family and things weren’t as awkward anymore. When he was at the house, he would play with the kids and keep them occupied and the host mom would make him food and do his laundry. While most minor league players choose to live with host families because they can save money, not all do. Dylan Cyphert, a former Pitt baseball player, was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 17th round of the 2017 MLB draft. He spent his summer in New York in short A ball playing for the Batavia Muckdogs. Though he had the opportunity to live with a

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host family, he decided to stay in a team hotel instead. While the team pays for some of his hotel expenses, $185 still gets taken out of his paycheck every month to cover the cost of the room. “It’s kind of nice, but at the same time you’re not able to cook or anything,” Cyphert said. “You’re eating out a lot and spending a lot of money on food, that’s the biggest part I don’t like about it. But I mean it is nice because you have somebody to clean your room every other day.” Even if they don’t choose to live in one, all minor league players spend a decent amount of time in hotels when they travel to away games. Isaac Mattson, Mitchell’s Pitt teammate, was drafted by the Angels in the 19th round of the 2017 draft and recounted nights spent sleeping in hotels chosen and paid for by the home teams — nights that didn’t always turn out pleasant. “We stayed at a hotel at the beginning of the season and [my roommate] ended up getting See Minor Leagues on page 23

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Minor Leagues, pg. 22 bed bugs,” Mattson said. “The next day he gets to the field and … he’s got all these different marks on his body.” Luckily for Mattson, he didn’t get bed bugs, but he did take what happened to his friend seriously. Now, any time he goes to a hotel he sets up a bed bug trap and checks the sheets to make sure he isn’t putting himself at risk. Mitchell has also never experienced bed bugs, but one time in rookie ball he walked into his room and found there were no sheets on the bed — only old towels and sheets on the

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bathroom floor, covered in water. After calling the front desk twice in two hours asking for sheets, a worker told him they knocked and no one answered, so his sheets were now at the front desk and he could come pick them up. So Mitchell and his roommate went to the lobby and got the sheets, though the woman manning the front desk didn’t take kindly to Mitchell snatching them and running. “I grab the sheets and take off and as I’m running she’s yelling at me,” Mitchell said. “She’s cussing me out. I stop and said, ‘All you had to do was drop the sheets off,’ and ran into the room. That was probably the worst [experi-

ence] right there.” Because the teams play more than one away series against another team, some of the hotels become notorious to them. For instance, Mattson’s roommate was bitten by bed bugs again at the same hotel, a month and a half after the first time they stayed there. “You definitely learn the first times through,” Matson said. “Or at least most people, my one teammate from the one trip we took didn’t learn his first time. But you learn each trip you take to a certain spot what you need to bring in order to make sure the experience is the best you can

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make it.” At the end of the day, the players try to make the best of their accommodations — after all, they have no other choice if they’re going to accomplish their dreams of making it to the majors. “The show is going to go on with you or without you,” Mitchell said. “So make the most of it because the next day isn’t promised. I’ve come in after night games the next day and have seen lockers cleaned out. It’s not fun seeing your friends go, but at the same time you don’t want to be the one who goes either.”

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SAIL TO PITT: PSC THRIVES ON AND OFF CAMPUS Trent Leonard Sports Editor

Pitt students might lament the fact that our in-state sports rival, Penn State, has beaten the Panthers’ football team handily over the past two seasons, including a 51-6 blowout loss in September. But fans can take solace in the fact that while the Nittany Lions may dominate on land, Pitt has their number on the high seas. That’s right — the Pitt Sailing Club beat Penn State not just once, but three times during the fall, easily making up for the football team’s lack of production in the Keystone Clash. “Our first regatta this fall was the same weekend as the Pitt-Penn State football game. And no one else wanted to go,” sophomore Bryce Merrill said. “And I’m like … we’ve got to go and beat Penn State, because we don’t know if they’re gonna beat us in football, but we know for sure we can beat them in sailing.”

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This might be the first you’ve heard that Pitt even has a sailing team. After all, Pittsburgh doesn’t exactly border any lakes or large, tranquil bodies of water fit for sailing. Despite the University’s lack of space for boat-based activities, the club is indeed alive and thriving, with a membership of 62 students. To sail, members commute roughly an hour north to Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park. And unlike most other club teams, they don’t have to rent equipment — their six Flying Junior boats have been paid off since 2013. New members vary drastically in their knowledge of sailing, with many having no experience before joining. Sophomore McKenzie Brown, for example, decided to join the club on a whim during last year’s club sports fair. “I had never been on a sailboat before,” Brown said. “I knew absolutely nothing about the sport. They taught me everything.” Other students, like Merrill, came to Pitt

with a previous boating background. “When I was looking at schools, I was looking for schools that had some sort of a sailing team. And I found their page, so I knew it existed,” Merrill said. “I’d sail over the summer for four or five years growing up, so I kind of knew the deal.” Had Merrill been looking for colleges eight years earlier, he’d have ended up going somewhere else, because the University had no sailing to speak of at that time. It all began in 2011, when a small group of students led by Vinny Mattiola started up the club. “Our ... founders really both had a passion for sailing, and they wanted to basically bring that to Pitt and share it with other people,” senior neuroscience major Heather Smith, the current club president, said. For the first two years, the organization actually didn’t have any boats. It was largely a social club where the members met weekly to watch videos, host discussions and provide lessons that centered on sailing. The

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group made a continuous effort to get funding from Pitt’s Student Government Board, but the board said they wanted to see the club grow before they committed a substantial amount of money. Then a breakthrough happened in 2013 — SGB finally bought into the club’s potential and allocated $26,770.10 for the purchase of six used two-person sailboats from Connecticut College. The newly legitimized Pitt Sailing Club stored their boats and set up home base at Lake Arthur. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing from there. Smith said after the original leadership graduated, there was a period where the growth of the club plateaued. When she first came to Pitt in 2015, there wasn’t a core group of members with sailing expertise. “It had the basics, but it didn’t have the best structural foundation,” Smith said. “The people who formed the club formed it, but then they graduated. When they graduated,

See Sail to Pitt on page 25

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Sail to Pitt, pg. 24 it kind of got a little bit into disarray.” Changing leadership can be a tough task for young clubs to overcome. Just ask Pitt’s now-nonexistent skydiving club, which SGB once provided with parachutes, only for the organization to disband the next year because the founder was a senior. But the Pitt Sailing Club persevered, and after becoming vice president last year and president this year, Smith has steered the sailors in a positive direction. The team participated in six away regattas — competitions that typically involve eight to 18 competing boats — this past fall, placing first in two of them. That earned them a program-best No. 29 ranking in its 56-team conference in the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association. Merrill is just grateful that the team is at the point where they can go and sail at a competitive level — an aspect the club has developed since his first year on campus. “We weren’t as focused on the competitive aspect of it. It was more of a social, learn-to-sail club,” Merrill said. “I’d also say attending six regattas this fall is a huge achievement for us. Last fall, we only went to two.” Some of the club’s progression can be attributed to the fact that Smith brings a lifelong background of sailing experience and knowledge to her role of president, but it helps that she doesn’t have to do all the teaching by herself. Along with her and Merrill, the team has three other certified sailing instructors. Now, the team has settled into a pretty consistent agenda. It holds weekly meetings, and if new members attend enough of these meetings and show a competency for sailing, then they earn the right to go with the team and experience the real thing at Lake Arthur on weekends. The long drives to and from Moraine State Park might seem like a drag, but Brown says it’s a vital part of team-building. “By spending, like, 45 minutes or an hour in a car with four or five people every time we go sailing, you get to know the people in the car and you get to know the people you’re spending time with at the lake,” Brown said. “That kind of forms a lot of friendships.” Brown also noted that those who travel to compete in regattas become especially close, considering these groups of four to

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eight people spend entire weekends with one another in the same hotel rooms. Because the club owns their boats, paying for hotels is the only renting they have to worry about, with the funds coming from the club’s budget. “We do like to have fun. We’re a very big group of friends,” Smith said. “I think the aspect that attracts a lot of people is we are what you want to make of it. You can come once and never come again, or you can be extremely dedicated and come all the time — we’re not going to hold it against you.”

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I N D E X

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& sofas). Check out my Face­book page: https:­//www. facebook.­com/ KenEckenrode­ RealEstate/. Call Ken at 412‑287‑4438 for more informa­ tion and showings or email name, phone number, desired number of bed­ rooms, and anything else you want in housing to kenshous­ ing@gmail.com. **AUGUST 2019: Furnished studios, 1,2,3,4 bedroom apartments. No pets. Non‑smokers pre­ ferred. 412‑621‑0457. 1‑6 bedroom. All newly renovated, air‑conditioning, dish­washer, washer/ dryer, and parking. Most units on busline and close to Pitt. Avail­able Summer 2019. 412‑915‑0856 or email klucca@veri­ zon.net. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 BR apartments available May & August 2019. South Oakland, North Oakland, and South­ side on Bouqet St., Meyran Ave., At­wood St., North Neville St., and Sarah St. Call 412‑287‑5712 2 units for rent: First floor ‑ 2BD, 1BA, $1,200 everything in­cluded. 2nd and 3rd

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floor apt. 4BR, 1BA, $1,500 everything in­cluded. Please call 412‑353‑6623 2‑3‑4‑5‑6‑7 bedroom apartments and houses available in May and August 2019. Nice, clean, free laundry, in­ cludes exterior main­ tenance, new appli­ ances, spa­cious, and located on Semple, Oak­land Ave., Mey­ ran Ave., Welsford, Bates, Dawson, and Mckee 412‑414‑9629. douridaboud­ propertymanage­ ment.com 2BR apt South Oak­ land. $1,095/mo + electric. New kitchen, bal­cony, and A/C. Call 412‑6661‑6622 3 BR house with hard­wood floors. Fur­nished or Unfur­ nished. Available July 2019. $1725+Utilities. Call 412‑952‑1513 3436 Ward. Spacious 2‑Bedroom, 1 bath, equipped kitchen, $1,195 + electric, Heat included. 412‑271‑5550 4 BR HOME ‑ SEM­ PLE STREET, LO­ CATED NEAR LOU‑ ISA. EQUIPPED KITCHEN, FULL BASEMENT. NEW CENTRAL AIR

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• ADOPTION • EVENTS • LOST AND FOUND • STUDENT GROUPS • WANTED • OTHER

ADDED. AVAIL­ ABLE IMMEDI­ ATELY AND RENT­ING FOR MAY AND AUGUST 2019. (412) 343‑4289 or 412‑330‑9498. Apartments for rent. 2, 3, and 4 bedroom apartments avail‑ able. Some available on Dawson Street, At­wood Street, and Mc­kee Place. Newly re­modeled. Some have laundry on site. Min­utes from the Univer­sity. For more info please call Mike at 412‑849‑8694

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ties. Laundry and dish­washer. Large deck. $1,900/mo. plus utili­ties. Contact gbazz­i7@gmail.com M.J. Kelly Realty. Studio, 1, 2, 3 and 4 Bedroom Apart­ments, Duplexes and Houses. N. & S. Oakland from $750‑$2500. mjkellyrealty@gmail.­ com. 412‑271‑5550. www.mjkellyrealty.­ com Newly remodeled first floor apartment with 2/3 BR and laun­dry in apartment.

$1500 + utilities. 412‑683‑0363 Newly remodeled sec­ond and third floor, 5 BR, 2 BA apartment with laundry room in­ side apartment. $3000 + utilities. Has a sky‑ light. 412‑683‑0363 North / South O Houses and Apart­ ments with Laundry and Central Air Call 412‑38‑Lease Now renting fall 2018 various one bed­rooms bates, fifth ave,­ meyran, pier, semple, blvd of a, ward street,

rent starting at $740‑$825 contact john c.r. kel­ley 412‑683‑7300 www.jcrkelly.com info@kellyrealtyinc.­ com Now renting fall 2019 various two bed­rooms south oakland, bates, coltart, edith, halket place, ward street, rent starting from $975‑$1410 contact john c.r. kel­ley 412‑683‑7300 www.jcrkelly.com info@kellyrealtyinc.­ com Oakland ‑ various South Oakland loca­ tions. Oakland Ave ‑ 2

BD/1 BA, hard­wood floors, free heat, avail‑ able Au­gust 1, 2019. S. Bou­quet ‑ 2 BD/1 BA available May 1. Ward St. ‑ studio, 1, 2, 3 BD. Free park­ing, free heat, avail­able August 1, 2019. Call 412‑361‑2695 Oakland house spa­ cious two and a half story, living room, dining room, eating equipped kitchen, 5 bedrooms two baths, front and rear porch, yard. $2,000 +utili­ties 412‑321‑6282 South Oakland off‑campus housing.

Atwood Street. 1BR units ‑ $525/mo. Very close to cam­pus. Units available now. (412)‑561‑7964. Leave message Before signing a lease, be aware that no more than 3 unre­lated people can share a single unit. Check property’s compliance with codes. Call City’s Per­mits, Licensing & In­spections. 412‑255‑2175. Houses for rent. steps to campus. starting at

$1800+ utilities. Fully equipped kitchen. Laundy Available

in august 2019. call

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2‑6 BR apartments/­ houses for rent. Up­dated kitchens and Bathrooms. A/C, laundry, and some with parking. Avaial­ able August of 2019. 412‑445‑6117

to work in an upscale dining envi­ronment. Please ap­ply in person Monday through Friday after 1:30

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August 2019 avail­able 3 and 5 bedroom house. New kitchen, AC, 2 new bath­ rooms, washer and dryer, and dish­washer. 1508 Sarah St. Call 412‑287‑5712

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Services

Employment Employment Other child care assistance needed, working with infants toddlers or preschool, flexible scheduling, $10/hour 412‑462‑4463 Part Time sales staff wanted. Littles Shoes is looking for fun, outgoing people looking to gain sales experience. Call Justin at 412‑521‑3530 if inter­ ested. Part‑Time Job: Earn up to $200 a day driv­ ing and hanging out with senior citizens. Apply here: https:­// www.fountain.com/­ papa‑technologies/ ap­ply/pittsburgh‑pa‑ pa‑pal THE CARLTON RESTAURANT Lo­cated in the One BNY Mellon Center, 500 Grant Street is accept­ing applications for Serving Assis‑ tants. We are seeking friendly, organized and reliable appli­cants

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11-14-2018 | Rental Guide  
11-14-2018 | Rental Guide  
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