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Housing Web site discussed

Ann-Marie Woods | Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Council of Representatives (COR) discussed a new proposal for an off-campus housing evaluation Web site that would give current off-campus students the opportunity to rate their housing locations and experiences for the benefit of next year’s prospective tenants.

“The site is similar to ND Today,” student body president Grant Schmidt said. “We are starting early to create this, and I think this could be a valuable resource.”

Modeled after a similar Northwestern University Web site, the purpose of the resource is to create an objective evaluation of off-campus housing and a means of communication between students and landlords, Schmidt explained.

Collaborating with Northwestern, Schmidt worked with Walker Anderson and Joey Rich to build a Web site exclusively for students, listing specific categories of off-campus housing that students can rate on a numeric scale.

The Web site has a dual purpose as not an avenue for giving students information but also as a means of communicating with landlords to notify them of specific residential problems, student body vice president Cynthia Weber said.

COR discussed the value of including a subjective section in the evaluation as well as the consequences of sharing the survey results with local landlords.

Many COR members agreed that a subjective section is necessary for students to have a clear idea of the house or apartment.

Developing a system similar to the Teacher and Course Evaluations (TCE), COR members suggested aggregating the information each year into a yearly report that would provide the numerical averages for each residence evaluated on the Web site.

In other COR news:

u Lee Svete, director of the Career Center, notified COR of new study space available to students on the first floor of Flanner Hall in the interview center on Sunday through Wednesday from 8pm to 1am. This announcement comes as a result of a new initiative to make more buildings available to students in the evening for study and meeting.

u Chipotle opens in Eddy Street Commons on Friday. As part of the grand opening, Chipotle is offering free food and drinks on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.