Students value price, location when finding housing around campus


John Blair | Senior Staff Photographer

One of the Towers on Pitt’s campus.

By Madison Dean, Staff Writer

Madison Cherry, a sophomore on the pre-occupational therapy track, spent her first year living in Tower A. She said the dorm was not only in a convenient location, but helped her make new friends. 

“I think it’s [Tower A] the best place to live just because it’s right in the middle of campus,” Cherry said. “Towers is a really good place to get to know people on the floor and make friends. I feel like it’s one of the best dorms for that.” 

Students sometimes face challenges when trying to find housing that accommodates their specific needs. Pitt provides various residence halls for its students, and the Oakland area also has a range of off-campus housing options. All first-year students who wish to live in residence halls are assigned to on-campus housing by Panther Central. The University offers nine first-year residence halls equipped with amenities like study lounges, cable and laundry services. 

David Madurski, a sophomore finance major, said Litchfield Towers is one of the worst places to live as a first-year. 

“Tower B is brutal,” Madurski said. “Specifically though because it’s just crowded. Any place with a communal bathroom is the worst.” 

After their first year, students can either choose to continue living in University-owned housing or find an apartment off campus. With an upperclassmen residence hall like Panther Hall, a house in South Oakland or a high rise on Forbes Avenue, students have a variety of options when choosing a place to live. But to find the right house or apartment, students must also consider location, pricing and amenities that fit their housing needs. 

As sophomores, Cherry and Madurski both live in Bouquet Gardens, an apartment-style housing option at Pitt.

“It’s almost off campus, and you get definitely more independence and freedom living there,” Madurski said. 

Cherry also agreed that the apartment is in the perfect location and gives her personal space. 

“I love it a lot because it’s so close to campus and it’s really convenient,” Cherry said. “And I love how each of us have our own bedrooms.” 

Talia Goldshtain said she enjoys her South Oakland house because of its location and affordable price.

“Financially, off campus is a lot better,” Goldshtain, a junior marketing and supply chain management major, said. “You have a little more say in where you’re living.” 

Goldshtain lives on South Bouquet Street and appreciates how close the street is to her business classes in Mervis Hall and Sennott Square.

Lauren Klunk echoed Goldshtain’s off-campus housing preference, and chose to live on Bates this year. Klunk said she likes the short walk to campus and the freedom of having her own room while still living with friends. 

“I think South Oakland gives the chance to have your own space but, like, be with roommates and friends,” Klunk, a sophomore special education major, said, “With living in a dorm I think can be hard because you’re either sharing a living space with someone or you’re by yourself.” 

Madurski thinks the best place to live in South Oakland is on Atwood Street. 

“You get the best of both worlds because then you’re off campus but you’re also close enough to where you’re not walking super far,” Madurski said. 

An off-campus house also comes with some downsides that student renters face. Goldshtain said she faces some difficulties dealing with landlords and bills. 

“My landlord kind of sucks,” Goldshtain said. “You have a lot more mechanical issues and you’re more responsible for paying utilities and dealing with all those different aspects.” 

Cherry said she wants to appreciate her time living on campus before she encounters leases and landlords. 

“One thing that I find really important is being close to campus, so you can go back to your place anytime you need to,” Cherry said. “Also, I’ve heard like a bunch of horror stories about other people living off campus.” 

As a current student renter living on Dawson Street in South Oakland, Demi Bauer also thinks living on campus is more convenient when managing the financial aspect of housing. 

“It’s so much easier to have your finances together so you don’t need to split it up for rent or utilities and everything,” Bauer, a sophomore media and professional communications major said. “Also, if you don’t plan on living here in the summer, on campus is easier because you could just leave right after the semester ends.” 

Cherry said while she prefers on campus living, there are some on campus housing options she avoids — specifically those on upper campus, including Sutherland Hall, Irvis Hall and Panther Hall.

“For me, it’s just not worth it to live up on the hill,” Cherry said. “I just would not like to do that every day, especially if I really needed to go back to my dorm during the day.” 

Bauer also echoed Cherry’s avoidance of upper campus housing and mentioned the difficulties dealing with Cardiac Hill.

“No matter what, you will have to walk up ‘Cardiac Hill’ and you will probably die doing that,” Bauer said. “Or you will struggle and it will not be fun. And the shuttles are unreliable sometimes.” 

Although most students voiced complaints about their current living situations, Klunk said there are some positives.

“Our landlord company is probably not the biggest pro,” Klunk said. “We’ve just had several issues, kind of like running in with them. But other than that, it’s okay.”