By: Caroline Morse
Liberty University officially opened Liberty affiliated resident life to living off-campus in 2012 at apartments that Liberty built, owns and occupies to this day. As soon as students turn 21-years-old, most are eager to be independent and live on their own out of on-campus residence halls. However, there are some major differences directed towards students that they should know before moving off campus, especially in Liberty affiliated apartments.
Liberty opened up The VUE off-campus community in 2012 with College Square, then Cornerstone in 2013 and finally with Oasis in 2016. Each community is not far from Liberty’s campus and all varying different price ranges to rent.
As a Liberty student, they are required to live under the Liberty Way whether the student lives on-campus or off-campus according to each Campus Guide. Even though the Liberty Way is applied across campus, there are different specific rules that apply to each community that students should be aware of.
Sophomore Kaitlin LoForti spent a year living on campus before deciding to move off with her older sister to The VUE at Oasis. One of the aspects of living off-campus that Liberty has advertised is not having curfew off-campus.
“The biggest difference between living on-campus to moving off campus is not having curfew,” LoForti said. “It’s super nice.”
If a student lives on campus, curfew on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday is at midnight, Wednesdays is at 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday is at 12:30 a.m. according to the On-Campus Living Guide. Students are able to sign out past curfew to assigned areas to study but must return to their dorms by 2 a.m.
Another difference between off-campus and on-campus living is the ability to interact between opposite sex’s in the residence halls.
Liberty’s on-campus residence halls are closed to the opposite sex throughout the semester unless they need help moving stuff into dorms or the campus has announced that they are having open dorms for a limited time period according to the On-Campus Living Guide. On the other hand, there are no rules against having the opposite sex in your apartment besides holding themselves to the Liberty Way standard according to the Off-Campus Living Guide.
A huge reason why Liberty sophomore Olivia Smith moved off-campus to Cornerstone was to have the freedom to relax with anybody of her choosing.
“I have a lot of guy friends and now that I live off campus, it makes it so much easier to hang out with them in my apartment,” Smith said.
Although living off-campus seems to have many benefits for the student body, there are also some aspects that students should be aware of before moving off-campus. There is an off-campus guide to living through the Liberty Way but it does not seem to be enforced according to Smith and LoForti. One of the biggest concerns that are voiced among the students is the party atmosphere in the off-campus apartments.
“People don’t follow the rules at all,” LoForti said. “There are parties with alcohol constantly here and only some of them have gotten busted, most don’t. The Oasis is just one big party place.”
LoForti also said that her building seems to be the main party location for many students on weekends and throughout the week.
Besides having party complaints, noise complaints are another huge problem living off-campus. According to the On-Campus Living Guide, if students live on-campus, residence halls enforce quiet hours starting at 10 p.m. to allow students to do homework or fall asleep without trouble. However, there are no quiet hours living off-campus.
“If there was one thing I could change about living off-campus it would be how loud it is,” said Smith. “It finally gets quiet around 2 a.m. sometimes.”
For students who are used to on-campus residence hall’s quiet hours, this could be something to consider if they want to move off-campus.
Liberty Senior Jon Fiseha has lived on-campus for all four years of his education at Liberty and loves the hall life. He will be graduating in the spring 2017 and plans to stay on The Hill until then.
“I wouldn’t move off-campus because they aren’t as involved in the community as we are on-campus,” said Fiseha. “Just seems like two different worlds honestly.”
Fiseha went on to say that the biggest reason he loves on-campus life is the close community between brother and sister dorms. Across Liberty’s campus, a female dorm is paired up with a male dorm and will do fun activities with each other throughout the semester to build friendships and comradery.
On-campus and off-campus Liberty residency seems to have its advantages and disadvantages for different types of students. Another off-campus option students may want to consider is moving off-campus into normal neighborhoods that are not affiliated with Liberty.
Junior Jesse Gauldin lives off-campus in a normal neighborhood with two other roommates just five minutes away from Liberty and does not have any major problems with his surroundings.
“I like where I live a lot,” said Gauldin. “There are a couple of other students that live around us but I’ve never had any problems with anything.”
Gauldin also said his apartment was comparable in price ranges with Liberty’s The VUE apartments. Living off-campus in normal neighborhoods is not advertised by Liberty but has been an option since the university opened in 1971 according to the Off-Campus Living Guide.
Since 2012, about 53.9% of students live on-campus and 46.1% live off-campus in 2016 according to Liberty’s Quick Facts page online.
If a student is venturing into moving off-campus and into Liberty affiliated apartments, there are some questions they may want to consider.
|Questions for students to consider:|
|1. Does noise bother me?|
|2. Do parties bother me?|
|3. Does having a curfew affect me?|
|4. Are my friends on-campus or off-campus?|
|5. What can I afford?|
There may be some strong difference to each community that a student should consider when they determine where to reside in the years to come at Liberty.
Listen to the full story here: Full Story