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From the Archives: Off-campus living over the years

Though the fall semester is not yet halfway over, The Observer’s recent off-campus housing guide notes that “as October arrives, sophomores and juniors (and even first-years) begin to think about their off-campus migration.”

To add some historical perspective to this trendy topic, From the Archives looked back at off-campus living over the years at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. The still-relevant concerns and opinions in these blurbs can aid potential off-campus migrants in their housing decisions, while the stories of off-campus parties contain entertaining insights for anyone who may spend a Saturday night in one of South Bend’s numerous student abodes.

​​Off-campus housing trends and student concerns

Oct. 15, 1990 | Oct. 16, 1990 | Oct. 17, 1990 | Kate Manuel | Researched by Cade Czarnecki

In a three-part series, the Observer examined the state of off-campus housing in the 1990s, highlighting contemporary trends but also revealing student opinions that remain pertinent today.

The 1990-91 school year saw an uptick in students moving off-campus. There were 1,157 undergraduates that declined on-campus housing options and chose to seek out their own off-campus arrangements, up from 1,085 the previous year.

A closer look at the demographic split reveals an interesting story: almost five times as many senior males moved off-campus as senior females. Surprisingly, this was actually representative of a decreasing gap between off-campus men and women.

A three-part series in the 1990s indicated the increasing popularity of off-campus housing. Observer archives, Oct. 15, 1990.

When asked why she chose to move off campus, Cecelia Burger, a senior woman, cited a desire for independence and respite: “I want to be on my own. It does give me a place to physically remove myself from the stress of campus.”

Yet, Burger also noted that there are drawbacks of moving off campus, such as the social life. She mused, “If you really want to be around people all the time, don’t move off campus.” This sentiment was echoed by many. Off-campus students shared that they often felt isolated from on-campus students and events.

The other main consideration for off-campus students was security. Looking to address some of these concerns, Observer news writer Kate Manuel reached out to Notre Dame’s security department.

The department explained that Notre Dame was not “directly responsible” for the security of off-campus students. Notre Dame security believed its role in the lives of off-campus students was only to assist local law enforcement if necessary. Still, Notre Dame security made an effort to advise off-campus students of best practices.

A series of mailings were sent out to off-campus undergraduates reminding them of security practices, such as looking for “hidden areas” where burglars could hide and contacting the police department before they leave for breaks. The latter bit of information was shared because “[Local police departments] will put your house on a list to be checked at least three times in a twenty-four hour period: one time every eight-hour shift at a minimum.”

Today, off-campus students continue to embrace their option to live more independently off campus. However, the aforementioned concerns of social life and security remain important considerations.

Inside the SMC off-campus housing campaign

March 19, 1969 | Ann Conway | Dec. 10, 1969 | Jim Hayes | Jan. 16, 1970 | Observer Staff | March 17, 1970 | Prue Wear | Researched by Thomas Dobbs

Lacking the off-campus option their Notre Dame neighbors had, a student-led campaign to allow off-campus housing was first initiated at Saint Mary’s during the Student Body President race in March 1969. As a commitment to the student body, candidate Susan Turnbull pledged that “off-campus housing be approved and in use by 1970.”

The following year, Turnbull, now Student Body President, met her campaign promise and launched a petition to the Board of Trustees on Dec. 10, 1969, to convince the Board to “re-evaluate their position against off-campus housing.”

The proposal addressed a relevant issue for Saint Mary’s: given an operational deficit of $460,015 in 1969, Saint Mary’s was apparently considering “admitting more students than can be comfortably housed.” 

Allowing off-campus housing, the petition argued, would enable the school to grow its student population and tuition revenue without having to construct more dorms or force some students into crowded conditions.

In a follow-up editorial, proponents further claimed that off-campus housing would “allow for greater opportunity for individual freedom and responsibility.”

Anticipating safety as an obvious concern with off-campus living, advocates pointed out the lack of safety on the Saint Mary’s campus. They claimed that off-campus housing “should be much less suspect than Saint Mary’s where just this past Christmas Campus Security was unable to halt the nightly theft of 30-foot trees and where numerous assaults, attempted and completed, have occurred each year.”

St. Patrick’s Day of 1970 was indeed a lucky one for Saint Mary’s students as the Board of Trustees approved off-campus housing for the first time. Observer archives, Arch 17, 1970.

Although the Board of Trustees offered no statement on the state of campus safety, the Board passed the off-campus housing proposal on March 17, 1970, as an experimental one-year trial. This policy ultimately proved permanent and remains an option for seniors today.

Off-campus parties encounter police crackdown

Sept. 5, 1984 | John Lavelle | Researched by Avery Polking

In the 1980s, several stories of unruly off-campus parties made Observer headlines and resulted in stricter police regulations.

One article from September 1984 detailed the “large, out of control parties” of up to 600-700 people which police deemed intolerable. This specific instance involved seven on-the-scene arrests and two more the following morning. 

Officers insisted this was ordinary enforcement with no extra pressure specifically on off-campus parties, despite a new alcohol policy at Notre Dame which seemed connected to the increase in arrests. However, it appears that actions may draw clearer conclusions than words.

The next year, the Observer covered a direct warning of this increased pressure by the police. It involved noise-measuring devices to determine a party’s level of public disturbance. Over 65 decibels at night and 72 decibels during the day warranted tickets for individuals involved. 

South Bend police officers seemed more benign in their communications than students may have liked to admit, giving recommendations on ways to abate trouble on the weekends. Some advice included calling substations to inform them of party details beforehand, but no insight was gathered on students’ receptiveness to these comments.

A proliferation of “large, out-of-control” parties at off-campus apartments like Campus View (pictured above) in the 1980s led to increased police activity and arrests. Observer archives, Sept. 5, 1984.

Another off-campus incident in the 1980s that drew particular attention was when two resident assistants were fired for supplying alcohol to underage students. From the RAs’ perspectives, though, their punishment was too severe.

For context, the RAs were at a party where they started selling empty cups to other, often underage, students who would then fill them with alcohol. One of the students relieved of their RA position defended themselves, saying they didn’t think that what they were doing was illegal. Another defense was the fact that neither of them was actually drinking that night, with one claiming, “all I had was a glass of milk.”

Despite their objections, though, these two students were fired from their duties as resident assistants, their relationship with the University seeming more like that of employees rather than students in this situation. 

Today’s off-campus parties seem devoid of similarly dramatic scenarios, so these stories provide a glimpse into an apparently turbulent time. But a more salient insight can also be gleaned from these situations: be wary of ill-advised actions from people who drink milk at parties.

Contact Spencer Kelly at skelly25@nd.edu

Cade Czarnecki at cczarne3@nd.edu

Thomas Dobbs at tdobbs@nd.edu

Avery Polking at apolking@nd.edu

Categories
News

11 popular off-campus housing options near the tri-campus

By Alysa Guffey and Maggie Eastland

As October arrives, sophomores and juniors (and even first-years) begin to think about their off-campus migration. A variety of apartment and townhome complexes in the South Bend area offer leases for students, but it can be difficult to navigate all the information available.

The Observer has compiled a guide to off-campus housing with information accurate as of Oct. 1. Prices and other facts are subject to change, but this guide provides an overview of the various off-campus leasing options, compared to the cost of living on campus as a senior. 

This year it costs $16,710 per year to live on campus at Notre Dame with a meal plan. That breaks down to over $2,000 per month, or about $504 per week. Notre Dame offers a $2,000 incentive to the first 250 sophomore students who commit to living on campus as seniors. The incentive closed Sept. 30 this year. The base rate for room and board at Saint Mary’s is $13,580, averaging out to about $1,500 a month, or $425 per week. The College charges fees for certain living arrangements such as single rooms or Opus Hall rooms. Living on campus with a meal plan at Holy Cross College costs $12,000, which is roughly $1,333 per month, or $375 per week.

Editor’s Note: Costs used to create this graph are high-low averages that encompass 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 prices when listed. Prices are subject to future change.
Credit: Maggie Klaers | The Observer
  1. Irish Row

Monthly rent and units available

2 bed, 2 bath: $1020 per bed, $2040 total

3 bed, 3 bath: $980 per bed, $2940

Note: Monthly rates increase by $50 as each new lease is signed. Rates published are correct as of Sept. 20. Two-bedroom units for the 2023-2024 term cost $1070 per bed or $2140 total.

Lease term

June to May

August to July

When to start applying

There are limited units remaining for 2023-2024 lease terms. Leasing for 2024-2025 opened Sept. 19.

Location

Irish Row is a mile east from the Notre Dame campus. The commute is about 20 minutes by foot or 5 minutes by car. 

Utility costs

Residents are billed monthly for electricity, water, sewage, gas and trash.

Monthly rent and units available

4 bed, 4.5 bath: $1340 per bed or $5260 total

Note: Rent increases $50 with each lease signed.

Lease term

June to June

August to August

When to start applying

Now leasing 2024-2025 units. No 2023-2024 units are listed as available.

Location

East of campus and just north of Irish Row, these units are part of the Irish Crossings neighborhood. The commute to Notre Dame’s campus is 1 mile — about 20 minutes by foot or 5 minutes by car. 

Utility costs

Residents are billed monthly for electricity, water, gas, sewage and trash.

Monthly Rent and units available

4 bed, 4.5 bath: $1500 per bed or $6000 total

4 bed, 3.5 bath: $1400 per bed or $5600 total

Lease term

June to May

When to start applying

Now leasing 2024-2025 units.

Location

East of campus and north of Irish Row, these CES-owned units are part of the Irish Crossings neighborhood. The commute to Notre Dame’s campus is 1 mile — about 20 minutes by foot or 5 minutes by car. 

Utility Costs

Residents must independently contract and pay for electric, gas, cable and wifi.

Monthly rent and units available

2023-2024:

1 bed, 1 bath: $1365

2 bed, 2 bath: $1010 per bed or $2020

3 bed, 3 bath: $990 per bed or $2970

2024-2025:

1 bed, 1 bath: $1420 

2 bed, 2 bath: $1030 per bed or $2060

3 bed, 3 bath: $1010 per bed or $3030

Lease term

May to May

August to July

When to start applying

Now leasing 2023-2024 and 2024-2025.

Location

The Irish Flats are east of Notre Dame’s campus and just north of the Crossings neighborhood. They are 1 mile from campus — a 20-minute walk or 5-minute drive.

Utility Costs

Residents are responsible for electric costs, parking and insurance. Wifi and basic cable included in monthly rent.

Monthly rent and units available*

1 bed, 1 bath (renovated and furnished): starts at $1060 

2 bed, 2 bath (renovated and furnished): starts $659 per bed or $1318 total

2 bed, 2 bath (basic and unfurnished): starts at $609 per bed or $1218 total

3 bed, 2 bath (renovated and furnished): starts at $599 per bed or $1797 total

3 bed, 2 bath (basic and unfurnished): starts at $494 per bed or $1482 total

*Rates are based on 2022-23 lease terms. Renovated/unfurnished options subject to change.

Lease term

Aug. 20 to July 31 

When to start applying

Applications for fall 2023 open Oct. 20.

Location

Campus Court is 1.1 miles from the Notre Dame campus and a little further east than Irish Row. It is a 5-minute driving or 20-minute walking commute.

Utility Costs

Residents pay for electric bill.

Monthly rent and units available

6 bed, 3.5 bath: $1400 per bed or $8400 total

Lease term

June to May

When to start applying

Now leasing for 2024-2025

Location

The Legacy neighborhood is about 1.5 miles northeast of campus. It takes 7 minutes to commute by car or half an hour walking.

Utility Costs

Residents pay for water, electricity, trash pickup, internet, cable, telephone, sewer and gas.

Monthly rent and units available

1 bed, 1 bath (3 floor plans available): ranges from $1,455 to $2,264 

2 bed, 2 bath (3 floor plans available): ranges from $958 to $1,132 per bed, or $1,916 to $2,568 total

3 bed, 3 bath (4 floor plans available): ranges from $878 to $1,205 per bed, or $2,635 to $3,615 total

Note: Undergraduates cannot sign leases in the Foundry South buildings.

Lease term

One year, residents choose the start and end date

When to start applying

Applications opened Oct. 1, official pricing comes out in 1-2 months

Location

The Foundry apartments are just south of Notre Dame’s campus above Eddy St. Commons. The location offers a short 10-minute walk or 2-minute drive to common Notre Dame academic buildings.

Utility Costs

All utilities paid separately.

Monthly rent and units available

4 bed, 3.5 bath: $1,400 per bed

Lease term
June to May

When to start applying

Leasing now for 2024-25. No units shown as available for 2023-24. 

Location

Wexford Place is nestled between several other common student housing options located just east of Notre Dame across Twyckenham Drive and offers a 5-minute drive or 22-minute walk to campus. It is across the street from Irish Crossings.

Utility Costs

Utilities included in rent are water, trash and monthly house cleaning.

Tenants are responsible for gas, electric, cable and wifi.

Monthly rent and units available

3 bed, 3.5 bath: $850 per bed

4 bed, 3.5 bath: $825 per bed

4 bed, 3.5 bath (deluxe model): $875 per bed

Lease term

One year 

When to start applying

Leasing 2023-24 now

Location

These CES-owned properties are located north of Saint Mary’s campus off State Road 933. Approximate distance from Notre Dame is 1.4 miles, or a 30-minute walk and distance from Saint Mary’s is 0.6 miles, or a 14-minute walk.

Utility Costs

Utilities included: water, trash and monthly house cleaning

Extras: electric, gas, cable/internet

Monthly rent and units available

1 bed, 1 bath: $1,200

2 bed, 2 bath: $889 per bed, or $1,778 total

3 bed, 3 bath: $785 per bed, or $2,355 total

4 bed, 4 bath: $680 per bed, or $2,720 total

Lease term

August to July 

When to start applying

Now leasing for 2023-24 term.

Location

Located north of Douglas Road off State Road 933, University Edge is a 7-minute drive or 30-minute walk to the heart of Notre Dame and a 2-minute drive or 18-minute walk to Saint Mary’s.

Utility Costs

Utilities included in rent (except electric)

  • 11. The Landings (Restricted to Married or Parenting Students)

Monthly rent and units available

1 bed, 1 bath: $865

2 bed, 1 bath: $915

3 bed, 1 bath: $1,125

Lease term

August to July

When to start applying

January to April is a priority window for married and parenting students. After that, leases are opened up to post-graduate students. 

Location

The Landings offers a convenient 6-minute drive or roughly 28-minute walk to Notre Dame with its location two miles north of campus.

Utility Costs

All utilities paid separately.

Contact Alysa Guffey at aguffey@nd.edu and Maggie Eastland at meastlan@nd.edu