Home Suite home, Students enjoy new luxury housing
by Madison Santos
“I wanted a brand new place; I knew it was super nice and it’s on campus, so it’s perfect,” says Jeff Harris, a sophomore forestry major who lives in the new Townhomes at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Since the fall semester of 2011, students have been signing leases to live in either The Suites or the Hilltop Townhomes. After a long summer of construction, both residencies are finished and sitting beautifully on campus, with The Suites located at south campus on McConnell drive and the Townhomes behind Sechrist on San Fransisco Street. Now that students are all settled in, residents share their thoughts about their new home.
“I love it,” says Nicole Malkou, a sophomore finance major living in The Suites. “Everything is brand new; and everything is clean and fresh.”
Malkou and her roommate were some of the first to sign up for The Suites last year, knowing that space would go fast.
“It was so worth it,” Nicole says. “It’s less expensive and more convenient. You don’t have to drive, and everything is right here.”
Another student who chose The Suites for its location is Angelica Felix, a sophomore accounting major.
“I like that it’s right next to the business building,” Felix says. “I would probably be late to all my classes if it wasn’t.”
Felix transferred here from ASU this semester, so it is her first year living on the NAU campus.
“I chose the Suites because some of my friends were already signed up to live here,” Felix says. “I already knew some people; and I didn’t want to live in the dorms.”
Both The Suites and the Townhomes differ from the NAU residents halls in several ways. Unlike the residence halls, The Suites and Townhomes do not have resident assistants (RA). Instead they have one person on each floor who they call the community assistant (CA).
According to the resident handbooks for the new housing, “The CA acts as a contact for lock-outs, maintenance issues, roommate issues, neighbor issues and emergency assistance.” Along with all the other residents, all the CAs are full time students at NAU.
The Suites and Townhomes also have a long list of amenities including a gym, an iPad bar, a game and theater room and tanning beds. Even with all these fancy services provided, many of the residents are thrilled just to have their own bathroom.
“I love having my own room and bathroom,” Harris says about the Townhomes. “I like having my own kitchen too; it’s awesome and so much better than the dorms.”
Harris also explained he likes not having RAs around because he feels that he has more freedom.
“It’s me and three of my best friends,” Harris says, ”and we can do whatever we want basically.”
Another Townhomes resident who appreciates having more freedom is Matthew Levy, a sophomore hotel and restaurant management major.
“We have CAs but they aren’t, like, an overwhelming presence,” Levy says, who chose the Townhomes so he could easily access all of campus. “The townhomes are awesome because I get my own kitchen and bedroom and laundry room and it is close to everything.”
The residents of both The Suites and the Hilltop Townhomes had minimal complaints about their new homes. Harris only mentions that the walk to the bus stop from the Townhomes is farther than he thought; and Levy says that the closest parking spaces that he wanted were often taken. As for The Suites, Felix could not list any negatives about them and all Malkou says is that she still has to adjust.
“I just noticed that it’s really quiet on south campus,” Malkou says. “I’m just not use to that yet.”