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Daily Living

Everything the renters and dorm occupants need to know to get through daily life

Lease Legalities

Think twice before signing that lease, you may be getting more than you bargained for

Pot Unlucky?

Stories about roommates learning to live together plus tips to make your experience more bearable

Party Without The Police

How to hold a get together with your friends without alerting the coppers or angering your neighbors

design By: Crystal Brown & MiChelle oros


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The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Moving mistakes make lessons learned

Potluck roommate option offers positives, drawbacks By Eric Harper Sports Reporter

Bridgette Cyr/Star photo illustration MOVING STRESSES: Moving into a new place can be a stressful time when not planned ahead, especially when understanding and storing legal documents from the old apartment to the new one.

By James Dudzik Sports Reporter Moving can be stressful. One of these stresses includes understanding and storing the legal documents from the old home and new destination. Cara Hendrickson, interdisciplinary studies junior, learned this the hard way. She signed a lease six months ago to move in to her first apartment. The apartment complex told her she could move in, even though her pet was on the restricted list. Days before her move, the apartment complex manage-

ment changed its mind and decided Hendrickson would not be allowed to live there. Hendrickson figured it was okay to find a new place, seeing as the other complex had not signed the document. She received a letter in the mail with a bill for more than $5,000. New management at the old apartment discovered her room had not been occupied and decided to charge her for their losses. The complex agreed to let her sublease the room to a new tenant and pay a minimum fee. Hendrickson said she has since learned her lesson. “Make sure you get copies of

everything in writing and read it carefully,” Hendrickson said. “If I had done that, I wouldn’t be in this mess.” Before moving into a new place, it is important to know the layout and size of the new home. Decide what there is space for and what should be discarded. Make a list of items, such as boxes, markers or tape, that are needed before beginning the moving process. An easy way to avoid paying for expensive moving boxes is to go to local stores or churches and ask if they have any boxes they are willing to give away. Matthew Gommert, geography

resource and environmental studies senior, recommends finding friends with trucks instead of expensive rentals. “It makes things a lot easier,” Gommert said. Alicia Fanning, interdisciplinary studies junior, said it is important to protect belongings when moving. She had nearly everything destroyed while moving. It began to rain the day she moved to her new apartment and, without a tarp covering her belongings, everything was either ruined or soaking wet. “Check the weather before you move,” Fanning said. “Always prepare for the worst.”

As Texas State students are thinking about whom to room with next year, the term “potluck” inevitably comes up. The Residence Life system does allow students to take a short survey which will attempt to match them with compatible roommates, but their potluck still involves uncertainty. Lauren Carney, pre-mass communication freshman, sees the potential benefit of going potluck rather than rooming with a friend one may already know. “When you arrange to room with friends, the friendship usually turns sour,” Carney said. Carney said adjusting to a new roommate is not a major setback. “It isn’t too big of a deal (because) you pick up on all of their habits over time,” Carney said. Carney said the most important factor in her success with her roommate has been communication. “You have to always try to talk to them and connect with them, even if you aren’t best friends,” Carney said. “Just try and get along with them.” Michelangelo Hardy, prepsychology freshman, was initially excited about the idea of

potluck, but found things may not always work out. “I was excited to meet someone new. It was like a Christmas gift to me,” Hardy said. However, his original excitement disappeared when he moved in to his room in August and met his new roommate. “It was a bad situation,” Hardy said. “I could immediately tell that we just were not going to see eye to eye. He was nothing like me and we just could not have lasted the semester as roommates, so I made arrangements to be switched.” Hardy’s scenario shows one of the biggest risks, and potential downsides, of the potluck experience. “The biggest disadvantage is the possibility of being roomed with someone who you just aren’t going to mesh with,” Hardy said. “At that point, what do you do? You have the potential to get stuck with someone you just can’t live with, or may not even be able to stand.” Regardless of the potential negatives, Carney recommends students try the potluck experience and believes not having a negative attitude going in is vital. “I think you should try it,” Carney said. “It’s a journey and an experience. Being open-minded is the key. You just have to think positive.”

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The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Roommates learn to live together By Jordan Gass-Poore’ News Reporter

Roommates Nancy Sung and Larissa Larson look at each other from across the room, slouched against the wall on their bed. They do not saying a word. ‘Americas Best Dance Crew’ is on TV. Sung, accounting freshman, and Larson , fashion merchandising sophomore, are enjoying another Thursday night in Sterry Hall. Juicy Couture purses hang on hooks and old Cosmopolitan magazines litter the desk. Pictures in rhinestone frames peek out from behind the shelves alongside sorority paraphernalia. Posters of Johnny Depp and Twilight plaster the other wall. Converse and an assortment of papers are shoved underneath the bed. Jane Austen novels are stacked next to the computer and folk music streams out from the speakers, competing with the TV and one another’s time. Friends from across the hall dart in and out of the dorm, sneaking bites of Larson’s seven-layer dip, while she demonstrates the proper way to eat grapes, cheese and Triscuit crackers all at once. Sung is texting on her phone. The first time they met in person was the day Larson moved in the dorm. They Google and Facebook searched each other before hand. Just in case. ‘Going potluck’, where roommates are chosen by compatibility through a series of questions, may not have been Sung’s first choice. Sung, an only child from Seguin who selfdescribes herself as a night owl and non-smoker, was set on living with a friend from home.

Larson said she was afraid Sung was going to study constantly and be really smart. However she thought otherwise after visiting Sung’s Facebook page. “Another reason why racial stereotyping is bad, eh?” Larson said. The two could be described as oil and vinegar. Larson’s parents are in the military. She lived in Maryland before moving to San Antonio. She has two sisters, whom she considers her best friends. Larson enjoys listening to bands such as Iron and Wine and Joshua Radin. She goes home every weekend and speaks French. “Not to mention, her side’s messier,” Sung said. “It’s always messy. And she doesn’t offer to buy bottled water.” Larson, however, does not borrow without asking, steal or tamper with Sung’s clothes, shoes, jewelry or food. Larson does not have unwashed dishes sitting for weeks to grow mold or leave dirty underwear laying around. The only other problem they have encountered this year is when to turn off the TV. “The TV is always on,” Sung said. “She talks to the TV. She talks to the computer. She just can’t study in silence.” So they compromised. Sung now studies in the library where it is quiet. Sung said Larson is a good person to talk to — their one 1 a.m. conversations have been therapeutic. Sung said she is glad neither of them brings guys over because the room is small. She said that would be awkward. No scrunches or tie on the doorknob for them. No code word or phrase. Sometimes a roommate says it best when they say nothing at all. Sung and Larson plan on living together next year in Bobcat Village.

Building Blocks Stores such as IKEA provides home owners with a cheaper alternative to purchasing furniture by letting the buyers put together the piece by themselves.

Karen Wang/Lindsey Leverett/Star photo illustration

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The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Networking with neighbors builds trust, community values

Bridgette Cyr/Star photo illustration NEW FACES: Meeting and welcoming new neighbors to the community can help create a trusting and respectful relationship.

By César G. Rodriguez Sports Reporter Students can receive benefits from learning to “love thy neighbor.” The phrase also applies to students who wish to strengthen relationships in their community. Katie Blackwell, a Great Locations realtor, said being a good neighbor helps to know everyone in the community. Blackwell lived in an apartment complex where she knew most of her neighbors. “The reason I did this is because it can stop something from happening, like somebody breaking into your house or somebody getting into your car,” Blackwell said. “It’s just good to know the people around because they’ll watch over your things.” Blackwell said her neighbors helped her. She recalled a time random people tried to walk into her apartment thinking it was a friend’s party. Her neighbors quickly stepped up to redirect the people away. “When you get a good neighborhood around you, it helps in a community crime watch, security feeling, safer feeling like it is more of a home,” said Greg Clark, manager of Apartment Experts. He said a good neighborhood creates an environment of relaxation. “The advantage of having good neighbors it just creates a better sanctuary to come home and relax,” Clark said. Clark said it is important to earn respect from neighbors but also give that respect back. Charlie Long, a sales agent for Apartments to Go, said students must win their neighbors’ trust. “You can’t have trust unless you are a trustworthy person,” Long said. “If you are not trustworthy, you are not going to be able to trust anybody.” Long said students and their neighbors can create a strong bond to trust each other’s property. “If you are going to walk out and leave your door open, you know your neighbor is not going to go in and steal your stereo,” Long said. Breaking the ice among

neighbors could be challenging for some people. Clark said people should just introduce themselves. “A good way to break the ice would be, ‘Hey we’re having a get together on Friday night, and you more than welcome. We’d love to have you come down,’” Clark said. Long recommends people “be nice, be polite and say ‘hello’” to open up a conversation with neighbors. Students can also offer help when a neighbor is in need. “If you see somebody carrying their groceries or carrying something heavy, offer to help them,” Long said. According to Clark, students can also leave their contact information if neighbors cannot make the social meeting. “Usually what I’ve found is if you go that extra mile to let them know that we’re having a get-together, they’re also going to be a little bit more lenient,” Clark said. “(Like asking) ‘if it does get loud, call me before you call the police or call management.’” Long said society is getting away from old customs such as strong values and having good neighbors in the community. He said people should go back to those values. “It’s very important especially in the apartment communities where you are living close by with everybody,” Long said. Having good neighbors brings advantages for people’s pets. Good neighbors take lost pets on the streets back to their owners, or put them back inside the gate, Blackwell said. Students who struggle with taking or leaving their pets during holidays or long breaks should not worry if they have good neighbors. “If your pets get out, the neighbors know who you are. They know what pet is yours,” Blackwell said. Neighbors can network when dealing with circumstances such as power outages. “If it was the electric company, they all knew it was for our entire block,” Blackwell said. “You didn’t need to go down the block, meet somebody, introduce yourself and then try to figure out the problem.”


The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Consequences could be hefty without reading lease before signing By Megan Holt News Reporter It is not unusual for proud new renters to hastily sign on the dotted line without reading the lease. According to The Student Legal Services Handbook from the Texas State’s attorney for students office, a lease is considered a legal contract. Students should make sure they understand the entire document before signing. Once the lease is signed, tenets are bound by the contract until it expires. However, often students are not fully aware of what they are agreeing to. “I know it’s probably not the smartest thing, but I don’t completely read the lease before I sign,” said Amy Monceaux, interdisciplinary studies junior. “I guess I just trust everything that they tell me up front.” Some apartment complexes read through the lease with tenants to ensure understanding. “My apartment complex took me through each page and actually made me read the pages with them,” said Elizabeth Paller, pre-athletic training junior. The legal handbook reads students should look out for provisions in which the landlord has included in the contract before signing a lease. These are negotiations the landlord wants the authority to honor. Provisions may include: the automatic deduction of cleaning fees from the security deposit, the right to take pieces of property if rent is not paid, the right to enter the apartment unit without tenant’s prior notice, ability to limit the tenant’s right to repairs or allow the landlord to retain the entire security deposit if proper notice of move-out is not provided. The handbook says students should not allow landlords to negotiate out of legal rights he or she has agreed to honor. It stresses students to put everything in writing including promises the landlord made and complaints. Both the student and landlord should sign the written agreements and keep copies. It also says, always get proof rent was paid on time by keeping rent receipts and sending letters or notices by certified mail. Students should be sure they are getting a clean and safe apartment unit. The handbook suggests students should tour the actual apartment unit they will be renting before signing anything or putting any money down. It also suggests talking to neighbors about the apartment complex and checking around the unit for maintenance problems. The landlord is required to list consequences should students break their lease. Security deposits will not be refunded and the money will go towards the amount the landlord determines they owe. According to the handbook, “a landlord can seize certain non-exempt property roughly equivalent in value to the amount of rent you owe, and can hold the property until you pay the amount owed.”

Lindsey Goldstein/Star photo illustration FINE PRINT: It is always important to read all contracts carefully before agreeing on signing a lease.

It is advised students purchase renter’s insurance. Often tenants assume landlords will cover any losses that occur from events such as fire or floods. For the landlord to be liable, he or she would have had to know about the problem and fail to fix or repair it with poor workmanship. Renter’s insurance covers losses when belongings are stolen or destroyed by fire, water or other casualty losses. According to State Farm Insurance’s Web site, renters insurance can be purchased in deductibles of $250, $500 and $1000. The handbook states, “The Texas Property Code requires landlords to fix any problems affecting the health or safety of ‘an ordinary tenant.’” Leases must include the landlord’s responsibility to repair a wide range of conditions. The Texas Property Code has requirements students must meet to use the law: rent must be current, tenants or their relatives must not have caused the damage to the unit and a notice must be given of the specific repairs needed. Landlords must make an effort to fix the damages within seven days unless unusual circumstances require a longer or shorter time frame. Security deposits must be returned if a student does not do any damage and fulfills his or her obligations. Students can sue if the landlord refuses to return the security deposit. Landlords who wrongly withhold security deposits can be sued up to three times the amount of the deposit withheld, plus $100, attorney fees and court costs.

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The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Thursday, March 5, 2009

The University Star

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The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009


The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009

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Secondhand items save college students money UPD recommends C A U T I O N By Erica Rodriguez Senior Features Reporter

Used books save us money, but used … mattresses? For the college student who does not fear probing the Internet marketplace or carousing a few thrift stores in a furniture forage, the rewards could be great. Secondhand apartment furnishings that have had just a little extra loving save on money, help out the environment and even turn a profit. “It’s true what they say, one man’s trash is another mans treasure,” said Will Atkinson, urban-geography and regional planning senior. Atkinson found much of his apartment furnishings through Craigslist. He’s an avid dealer and has used the site to buy and sell everything from fish tanks to mattresses.

“Craigslist is definitely a good alternative to brand new furniture,” he said. A television set for $35 and mattresses for $10 are a few of his treasures, but buyers can find anything from car parts to construction materials. “I’d almost want to say you could almost build a house off of Craigslist,” he said. Unlike thrift stores, Craigslisting allows customers to browse hundreds of items within different cities without getting off the couch. Craigslist does not require users to have an account to browse or buy. Atkinson warned against scams and recommended dealing locally and in cash only. Nathan Rowell, management senior, uses Craigslist for larger items like dressers and couches but prefers to get his smaller items at Goodwill. “Honestly I love the idea of

charity in the first place,” he said. “You can literally give them anything and they’ll either recycle it or sell it.” Rowell has found kitchen items like plates, pans and cooking utensils at Goodwill and recommends avoiding stores like Wal-mart at all costs. “That’s definitely the way to go. The big stuff is Craigslist, the small stuff is Goodwill,” he said. There is also another motivating factor for shopping at Goodwill — cleanliness. A mothball-smelling thrift store might not be your idea of fresh, but by law stores like the Salvation Army and Goodwill are required to sanitize linens, pillows and upholstered couches. “It’s better than buying stuff on Craigslist,” said Bryan Mullin, physics senior. “Nobody’s going to clean their stuff before they sell it.”

The financial advantages of buying secondhand are clear, but the benefits to the environment are also important. Unwanted, usable furniture makes its way to landfills and illegal dump-sites everyday. “There’s absolutely no excuse for dumping couches on the side of the road,” said Rowell. “That’s totally uncalled for.” A final reason to shop secondhand is resale value. Reselling an item after a semester of use can often reap the same or more of the amount you paid. “It’s an easy way to make a little bit of money on the side if it’s stuff that you don’t want,” said Atkinson who often resells items he’s found on Craigslist. Whether Craigslist or Goodwill, buying secondhand puts affordable furnished apartments within reach.

Affordable prices found at local resale shop

Safety Tips

Bobby Scheidemann/Star photo illustration CAUTION AT NIGHT: Walking home alone can be dangerious, so it is important to be cautious and stay around well-lit areas at night.

SAFETY AT HOME

Lindsey Goldstein/Star photo illustration DIY DECOR: Decorating a living space can get pretty prices. By jazzing up a room with homemade posters, it can create a unique envionment to live in.

By Lindsey Leverett Features Reporter Buying resale is a way to cut costs and find a unique piece of furniture. One local resale shop has stood its ground for the past 10 years, while the others have come and goneSecond to None embodies the unique, vintage aspect of San Marcos. The items in this store are hard to come by. It carries things from bunk beds to kitchen tables and has a Revenge from Mars pin ball machine on the floor. Second to None started as a clothing resale store, but moved to adding furniture to its business. The shop sells

used furniture for a fraction of the retail price. About half the items are consignment and half are buy accounts. Owner Karlin Clark runs the store with her mother Mev Allen and daughter Terrell Walsh, international studies senior. The store draws in those who want to find a rare item. A two-piece vintage couch can be seen from the door. The pinball machine is brought into view with the first few steps. A tour around the store can be necessary with so much to look at. “If I think it’s sellable and in good shape, I’ll try it,” Clark said. “Each item has to meet standards as far as quality, not so much style because all

styles are in.” Clark said furniture changes on a regular basis. “Most pieces move off and on the floor in a matter of weeks,” she said. Clark calls for the next item on the store’s waiting list as soon as something is sold. It is usually the same type of furniture to keep the store’s diversity. “There is so much variety, uniqueness and originality. It’s one of the biggest draws of the shop. That and the price,” Clark said. Variety is easy with more than 3500 consigners and buy accounts. The shop usually sees a boom when semesters change. It carries furniture for a student’s budget. Some items

are under $100. Buying used furniture is easy on the wallet and is also a good way to recycle. The slightly used furniture is in usable condition, especially for a college student who may only need it for a few semesters. Clark is seeing a good amount of business in the current economic state. If shoppers cannot find what they need at Second to None, Clark refers them to another San Marcos shop that might carry it. She is interested in seeing all the San Marcos local shops do well. Shoppers can check out the store, located on West San Antonio, a block from The Square. As Clark said, “We have new treasures every day.”

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· Lock doors, even if you intend to return shortly or are just going down the hall. It takes a thief five seconds or less to enter an open room and steal your property. · Do not prop open residence hall exit doors. · Lock or secure doors and windows when alone or asleep. · Do not leave valuables out in plain sight. · Record the serial numbers of valuable items. An engraver is available at UPD to mark valuables. Call the Community Awareness and Resource Team at 512-245-8341. · Do not leave a note on your door saying that you are away and giving a time when you will return. · Do not let strangers into buildings or residence halls. · Do not let anyone borrow your room keys. · If you lose your keys, report it to the University Police Department.

SAFETY ON CAMPUS

· Know the locations of the emergency call boxes. · Consider taking a self-defense class, such as the University Police Department’s Rape Aggression Defense course. · Keep university police numbers handy and save them in your cell phone. · If you have a feeling that something is wrong, trust your instincts and go to a safe place. · If you feel scared or threatened, call the police.

SAFETY ON FOOT

· Stay alert and use good judgment to avoid becoming an easy target. · Walk purposefully. Convey that you are calm, confident, know where you are going and know what is going on around you. · Stand tall and make quick but deliberate eye contact with people around you. · If you are being followed, turn and walk quickly in the opposite direction.

Go to a well-lit and well-populated area. · Avoid walking alone, and stay away from dark streets. Avoid shortcuts through deserted areas. · Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.

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SAFETY ON THE GO

Park in well-lit areas so you can see your car and its surroundings from as far away as possible. · Have your car keys ready before you approach the car. Don’t make yourself vulnerable while searching for the right key. Tell a friend when you’re leaving and when you expect to return. · If someone threatens you with a weapon, give up your vehicle immediately. Your life is more important than your car. · When using the bus, be aware of surroundings. Pay attention so you do not miss your stop. · If someone looks suspicious and is getting off at your stop, consider staying on the bus.

SAFETY IN SOCIAL SITUATIONS

· Go to parties with a friend and watch out for each other. · If you go to the party together, leave the party together. · If alcohol is involved, make sure that someone is assigned to be the designated driver. · Don’t leave drinks unattended. · Never drink something you did not open yourself. · Never leave someone who is intoxicated and passed out alone or unattended. · If you see a person unconscious and you know they have consumed a large amount of alcohol, call UPD. · Obey state laws and campus rules about alcohol and drug use. · Remember possession or consumption of alcohol by anyone younger than 21 is a misdemeanor offense. —Courtesy of University Police Department


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The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Recycling available on campus for convenient student access By Gabrielle Jarrett The University Star

residents’ recycling bins stay full. “All the halls are required to have postings to encourage residents to recycle,” Ferran said. Ferran said she takes extra steps to help in the efforts to “go green.” “I keep bags in my room and collect water bottles,” Ferran said. “I have also stopped using straws because it hurts the environment. It is better to drink straight from the cup.” An easy way to help reduce the amount of waste produced at home is by turning off the lights when leaving the room. It saves energy and cuts down on the electric bill. Reusing items helps the ef effort of going green. Grocery and department stores are of offering shoppers eco-friendly reusable bags instead of paper

and plastic sacks. According to reusablebags. com, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. That comes out to more than one million per minute and billions end up as litter each year. Reusablebags.com states the United States goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually, which has an estimated cost to retailers of $4 billion. The last step in going green is to recycle. According to Recycling and Waste Management, the United States makes up about 5 percent of the world’s population and is the largest trash producing country at 1,609 pounds of trash per person a year. Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away in the United States every year.

Texas State officials are hoping students will reduce, reuse and recycle. The university offers an oncampus recycling center cater catering specifically to students, faculty and staff. The Recycling Center has seen an increase in the amount of paper and plastic items from 2007 to 2008. The Texas State Recycling and Waste Management center provides the campus opportunities for an emergency pick up service. The waste management will perform an emergency pick up for paper, aluminum cans, cardboard and plastic bottles. Stanford University participated in a similar project to conserve the amount of waste produced. The university saved the equivalent of 33,913 trees and 636 tons of iron ore, coal and limestone in one year. The Texas State Recycling and Waste Management center provides helpful tips that can be used by students living off campus. Kaneesha Skinner, undecided freshman, said she recycles because she wants to help preserve the Earth. “It bothers me to see litter,” Skinner said. “I just want to help the campus by doing my part.” Skinner said she tries to sort her items into the recycling bins instead of just throwing them away. “The one thing the dorms could do better is put bins on each floor,” Skinner said. “It would help residents recycle more if they had more options to Stacie Andrews/Star file photo recycle.” GOING GREEN: Recycling is easy and accessible for student, Kiomy Ferran, residential as- faculty and staff on campus. The recycling center can be found on sistant for Sterry Hall, said the Moore street.


The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009

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Tips to keep police away, neighbors happy when hosting party By Mike Patterson Features Reporter Students know what it is like when a party is going late, but the music is still loud. It might be too late at this point and they hear the San Marcos Police a few minutes later. There are steps people can take in advance to insure it does not come to that. Students have learned over time the tricks to keeping the party fun, neighbors happy and cops away. There are ways to keep parties fun and safe from catastrophe. The penalties for a noise violation can be more than most would like to think about. Lisa Dvorak, assistant police chief, said last year’s number of citations was close to “2,700 and approximately 1 out 7 resulted in a ticket.” One of the best ways to keep a break up from turning into a ticket is to have someone to act as the “DD” of the party. That way there is a sober person to have civil conversation with the officers. “Cooperation can go a long

way,” Dvorak said. The biggest thing to think about as a host is no matter who is causing the problems at the party, the host or hostess is the one who will be the first cited. So it’s in people’s best interest to take steps ensuring it never comes to that. Furthermore, San Marcos city officials are debating a new noise ordinance, which would give officers more discretion when disbanding parties. Excessive noise is described as being able to be heard across property lines. Officers making the determination would have the authority to disperse the gathering and cite anyone refusing to leave, if the ordinance is passed. The first step to having a successful party is making sure attendees are friendly enough with the people who would call the police. Neighbors who enjoy the party will feel included.Sometimes the apartment or dorm is not party compatible. Some apartments, on the other hands, have reputations as party destinations. Aimee Butler, mass communi-

cation junior, is a Cabana Beach resident and experiences loud parties on a regular basis. Butler said when there is a party getting out of hand, she will confront the hosts and politely mention she has class the next morning. “If you give them calm, they’ll give you calm,” Butler said. Know who is coming. This is especially true when having a house or dorm party. If some attendees cannot handle their alcohol make sure someone is there to chaperone and cut them off if necessary. To quote Dirty Harry, “Man’s got to know his limitations.” But not all parties need to be held in homes. Cabana Beach management offers its clubhouse to residents as a safer alternative to the apartment rooms. The party will be farther away from potential police callers. Partygoers have access to the facilities, which include pool and foosball tables, a plasma TV, a larger area for guests and a swimming pool. The catch is Lindsey Leverett/ Star file photo illustration Cabana requires a $1000 deposit. But every penny is returned PARTY PEOPLE: Students can enjoy a social get together, but when it becomes too loud the police might come to bust it up. Smart students keep it quite, discreet and let the neighbors in on the fun. if no damage is done.

Organizational Tips 1. a little at a time. Instead of trashing your place remember to pick up after yourself, that way you don't need to go through painful, day-long cleaning sessions later.

2. have a place to put things. Don't just through your stuff around willynilly, you'll forget where you put it and your room will still look messy. Buy a dresser if you don't already have one, Goodwill can provide you with one for cheap.

3. don’t put it off. When your laundry finishes take it out and put it in the dryer immediately. Don't forget or get lazy and leave it there all night. It will become smelly and you will have to do it over again.

4. keep it clean. Remember a nice smelling place is a nice place to be. It won't kill you to break out the cleaning products every once in a while.

5. don’t let the dust collect. It's easy to neglect dusting and vacuuming, but your allergies will thank you for not doing so. Break out the swifter and the vacuum every once in a while. It might amaze how how much more pleasant it is to walk on your carpet afterward. Lindsey Goldstein/Star photo illustration


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The University Star

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Roommates teach maturity, respect By Crystal Davis Trends Columnist

Different experiences have helped me learn and grow as a human being throughout my college years. For me, one of the most educational lessons in maturity has come from having roommates. Most everyone will have the joy or agony of a roommate and there are several ways to ensure that living with someone is not disastrous The first step is to determine boundaries and that is best done before or immediately after moving in. Food and groceries can cause a lot of conflict if roommates don’t establish some rules. Figuring Alyssa Scavetta/Star photo illustration out what is shared and off limits DIVIDED LINE: Not everyone will have a perfect roommate every time. It is important to stay positive will make living with someone and be respectful to each other until the lease is over. easier because there will be a

mutual respect for each other’s property. Also, it is important to take responsibility for your pet. Anytime a roommate comes home and sees urine/poop on the floor it will cause the same reaction — absolute frustration and disgust. It is OK to ask for help when caring for pets like letting the dog out or feeding, but no one likes to clean up poop when it’s not their responsibility. Cleaning is also a huge factor in the living-peacefully-together equation. Everyone has at least one cleaning chore that would make them rather eat rocks. Figure out each other’s strengths and weaknesses because it will help create understanding and compromise. I had a roommate once who knew how much I hated doing the dishes and it was something she was very anal about, so she would take dishes out of my hand (while I was still eating off them) and start scrubbing, rinsing and loading the dishwasher. It wasn’t a perfect compromise, but I never had to do the dishes and she never had to look at a dirty sink. The last and probably most

important issue roommates will face is each other’s significant others. Boyfriends and girlfriends can cause a whole mess of complications between roommates, especially when they don’t get along. It puts everyone in an awkward position because it creates a fine line between loyalty and responsibility. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to navigate this situation. However, most experts advise finding a neutral environment to discuss high stress problems. Time and distance have a way of healing wounds. Sometimes giving a person space to sort out the chaos of conflict can help resolve problems too. There are also reference guides aiding in difficult roommate quarrels. I’m Sorry but the Boa has Gotta Go! A Roommate Survival Guide by Sylvia Bergthold is funny and makes valid points. Having roommates is definitely a significant life experience, but it is always important to keep in mind that respect and accountability are key ingredients for the recipe of a peaceful coexistence.

03 05 2009 Housing Guide  
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