The customer is always right…
In the case of student housing, the students are who the industry should want to hear from. In each issue, Student Housing Business will reach out to students to make their opinions known. In this issue, we asked questions to students living at Illini Tower at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
The customer is always right…
In the case of student housing, the students are who the industry should want to hear from. In each issue, Student Housing Business will reach out to students to make their opinions known.
Built in 1966, Illini Tower is a private residence hall located on the University of Illinois campus. The building is 16 stories and is currently housing 709 students, primarily in suite-style living with no more than four students sharing a unit. The project is owned and managed by Houston-based Campus Living Villages, Inc. Illini Tower features in-house food service. This month’s student resident experts are freshmen Josef Zajcew, Louis Klieger and Christina Alexander.
In this issue, we asked questions to students living at Illini Tower at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Built in 1966, Illini Tower is a private residence hall located on the University of Illinois campus. The building is 16 stories and is currently housing 709 students, primarily in suite-style living with no more than four students sharing a unit. The project is owned and managed by Houston-based Campus Living Villages, Inc. Illini Tower features in-house food service. This month’s student resident experts are freshmen Josef Zajcew, Louis Klieger and Christina Alexander.
SHB: When you contemplate your housing options, what are the most important factors and drivers? Why?
- Location (on-campus vs. off-campus, proximity to campus)- This is most important for me because I have cheerleading and don’t want to be located somewhere too far off campus that makes me have to travel more than needed. IT is where I live right now, and it’s perfect location for classes, athletics, and workouts at the ARC.
- Privacy (shared vs. single)
- Hipness/newness of the building
- Social scene at the building
- Location: Especially as a freshman without a car, location is important. Being close to the quad is nice (although the Engineering campus seems far away from most student housing).
- Amenities: This is a generic category, but these are important to me. For instance, a bathroom in the suite is a huge plus.
- Hipness/newness of building: Honestly, I don’t care how new a building is so long as it is maintained well. Cleanliness and related areas are very important.
- Price: While I don’t handle these costs myself, they are still a factor in any decision.
Alexander: To me, the most important factors I contemplated while choosing my housing options were price, location, and privacy. I thought that location was extremely important in that I needed to be able to walk to class and to other buildings with relative convenience, and privacy was important in that I wanted to make sure my dorm room was a place where I could find respite and where I could feel comfortable that my belongings would be kept safe. Price was important to me and my parents, in terms of getting the most value for our money.
SHB: Are amenities like pool tables, tanning beds and well-appointed lounges more important or less important than private rooms and the connectivity/wiring of a building? Why?
Zajcew: Personally amenities are less important than private rooms and wiring of the building. I would rather have a good internet connection and my own room than pool tables and tanning beds.
Klieger: Pool tables, lounges and related areas are far less important than the connectivity/wiring of a building.
Alexander: Amenities like tanning beds and pool tables aren’t as important in comparison to wireless internet access because they can be found elsewhere for those who desire them.
SHB: What are the three most important features in a building or room (i.e., connectivity, amenities, privacy)
Zajcew: Connectivity, layout, dimensions
Klieger: Cleanliness and maintenance; amenities/connectivity; privacy and security.
Alexander: The three most important factors in a building/a room are privacy, security, and amenities
SHB: How much of a factor is price in evaluating your housing decision, both to you and to your parents?
Zajcew: It is more important to my parents than myself, due to them paying the bill.
Klieger: Honestly, I do not know how much of a factor price was.
Alexander: Price is a consideration for both me & my parents because we both acknowledge the importance of spending money wisely.
SHB: If both buildings were priced the same, would you rather live in a new building complete with amenities and all the bells & whistles 1.5 miles off-campus or in a functional but older building just off-campus? Why?
Zajcew: I would prefer to live in the newer building because that is what I like and need, but the distance problem would make me choose the closer building.
Klieger: 1.5 miles off campus is very far (especially during winter), but it would really depend on the quality of the older building. If it was very worn down, I would choose the newer building. I would have to see them in order to make a true decision.
Alexander: I would choose the building closer to the campus because it would be more convenient. I would be able to find other amenities elsewhere on campus, so it wouldn’t worry me to not have immediate access to them.
SHB: If you could live in the same quality of building, would you prefer to be on-campus or off-campus? Why?
Zajcew: I prefer the on-campus location due to my the distance for walking to classes and sports.
Klieger: Well, there are many factors to consider. For instance, the University limits internet usage, Illini Tower does not. However, the food program at university housing is better. I would have to look into the advantages/disadvantages of each.
Alexander: Location was a very important factor in deciding where I chose to live.
SHB: What is your preferred method of communicating with building management and on-site/on-floor staff?
Zajcew: Email; phone; going to the onsite or offsite management office; Facebook/Twitter.
Klieger: Going to the onsite management office.
Alexander: Talk with them in person by going to the management office, be it on or off campus.
SHB: What’s the one thing missing from your building? If you could change one thing what would it be?
Zajcew: Big study rooms on each floor that can be used by whoever/whenever.
Klieger: I would like to see more storage space in the kitchen, and a stove made post-1950.
Alexander: The hours in which food is served: earlier in the morning and later in the evening [because of late classes].