Most University of Iowa students move off-campus after completing their first year at Iowa. Historically, information, resources, and education related to off-campus living have been a challenge for students to navigate. Over the past year the University, in partnership with University of Iowa Student Government (UISG), committed to a coordinated effort to provide support to UI students as they transition to off-campus living through the Off-Campus Student Support Initiative.
"The Off-Campus Student Support Initiative is continually making strides to better help students that are living off-campus. Many students that move off-campus do not know how to find a place or know what steps are necessary to take when signing a lease. In addition, many students that live off-campus are not as connected to essential university resources,” says Gustave Stewart, a UISG student representative.
A new website, https://offcampus.uiowa.edu, was created in the fall of 2017 to help students begin the transition into an off-campus residence. The site provides apartment and housing listings, as well as an off-campus living guide, with resources for food, legal, maintenance and utilities, parking and transportation, and safety.
A new Off-Campus Student Support Advisory Board meets every other month, providing input about the website, bringing forth issues to consider, and prioritizing goals for the coming year including: connecting with first year students who will be living off-campus, assessing the lease gap program being piloted this July-August, and continued website expansion.
An exciting collaboration with the City of Iowa City is the creation of a new Neighborhood Ambassador Program. Ten students will be hired to serve as neighborhood ambassadors for the 2018-2019 academic year pilot program. Neighborhood Ambassadors will work with the Neighborhood Council of Iowa City – representatives of Iowa City neighborhoods – to build community, provide information, and partner on neighborhood events.
“The Off-Campus [Student] Support Initiative is taking the steps to better provide resources for students to allow for them to succeed via great advice on the off-campus website and new programs such as the Neighborhood Ambassador program," says Stewart.
2018 Year In Review
This article is part of the 2018 Year in Review, which highlights some of the Division of Student Life's accomplishments from the previous academic year.