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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Students behaving badly

The battle over development of the southwest corner of Broomfield and Crawford roads seems have to come down to one issue: Whether students cause more trouble when there are four students in an apartment vs. two students in an apartment.
Mount Pleasant Planning Commissioner Lori Gillis said where there are four student in an apartment, the party's already started.
A lot of people, remembering their own college days, would have a tendency to agree. The 1975-76 school year at 1725 S. Crawford, for example, pretty much kitty-corner from the proposed Broomfield Hills development, was, indeed, a party every night. Four guys, all of legal drinking age, all majoring in broadcasting -- rock 'n' roll, baby!
The landlord was wise enough to "decorate" the walls with barn wood -- it's awfully hard to scar the walls when the walls already are scarred!
That apartment, and hundreds of four-person, two-bedroom apartments like it, are still there. But the four-person, two-bedroom, one-bath apartment rapidly is becoming a thing of the past. Those are the apartments that are going empty. Those are the places that today's students turn up their noses at.
The apartment of choice today is a four-bedroom, four-bath, four-person townhouse. Most of today's students have never shared bedrooms, are appalled when they have to do it their freshman year in the Towers, and many get out as fast as they can.
Once they do, these overscheduled students barely see their roommates; their lives are lived online in virtual communities.
The newest student developments, such as the Village at Bluegrass, Copper Beech Townhomes, and United Investments' own West Pointe Village, all are one-student-per-bedroom developments.
It's worth asking about: Are these any quieter than two-students-per-bedroom? Maybe, just maybe, the density issue isn't students-per-unit, but students per bedroom.


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