It may be common knowledge that college students paying their way through college do not have massive sums of money. Cutting costs here and there is always a priority.
To do that this year, three of my friends and I decided to live in the University Village campus apartments. We did so because anyone who has looked into it knows it is the least-expensive option among University housing.
The main reason being is UV is not overly large and is not as nicely finished as the alternatives, Niskanen and Bison Court.
Every time I mention that I live in University Village, everyone seems surprised that I live there.
It seems there is a stigma that goes with University Village.
It my come from the conditions of the apartments. There have been many reports of bugs and other pest problems. Residence Life says it is due to the design of the apartments. The townhouse style makes it more accessible to pests compared to Niskanen or Bison Court.
The stigma may come from how University Village has a large amount of international students. There are also several families with small children. The atmosphere is quite different than other campus housing. It does not have the same “college” feel as other campus apartments.
The stigma overshadowing University Village is not a positive one. When I tell people that I live in UV I get the same reaction, “really?” paired with a confused expression.
Many of the confused expressions are followed up with a “why?” Sometimes it leads into a session of 20 questions.
My friends treat it as though I have taken up residence in a foreign country, and they want to know the details of this new abstract world. I didn’t realize it was so bizarre for four Caucasian guys to live in University Village.
During the first months of living there I will admit it did feel slightly uncomfortable to be the minority. I had never been apart of that group living in the Midwest.
It was an interesting cultural shock. What is most strange about the whole thing is that, truthfully, there is nothing strange about it.
The stigma seems to look down upon UV. Sort of, “Why would you want to live there?”
My reason, initially, was because it was affordable housing. During my time there I have met a unique group of people; something I never did growing up in suburban Minnesota.
University Village has become the melting pot of NDSU for many diverse cultures to interact. It has been nice to meet people who are different from me and have different backgrounds.
There should be nothing stigmatic about it; because when is comes down to it, we in University Village are all NDSU students, we are all Bison.
Caleb is a sophomore majoring in English.