Students campout for first crack at houses next year
MSU students line up long before sunrise on Thursday to reserve their picks for next year’s CRMC housing. Some students even camp out over night and pitch a tent to stay warm as they keep their place.
At least 50 people camped out Wednesday night on the lawn of Community Resource Management Co., or CRMC, to get the first crack at signing up for housing for the next academic year.
People hoping to sign up for their top choices of houses or apartments had to arrive on Wednesday evening to put their name and house on a board to hold their choice. If the house they wanted already was being saved, Olson was on hand to help students find an alternative option. But not everyone found what they were looking for.
Chemical engineering sophomore Ryan Stephen and his four roommates didn’t get any of the three houses they had picked out. They were left to decide if they wanted to blindly sign up for an apartment or rent through a different company.
“It’s kind of like a hit in the gut,” Stephen said. “But it’s no big deal, because we have other options.”
Next year, Stephen said he will investigate the market more thoroughly and get there earlier if he wants a CRMC house.
Community Resource Management Co. president David Olson takes housing requests from students Oct. 9, 2013, outside the leasing office on W. Grand River Avenue. Students were lining up for the chance to claim the house they want to live in next year. Khoa Nguyen/The State News
From left to right, criminal justice sophomore Dillon McGreal, advertising and communication sophomore Alex Byers, kinesiology junior Brandon Burke, and geography and geographic information sciences junior Brianna Gerondale set up camp outside the Community Resource Management Co. leasing office Oct. 9, 2013. They planned to stay overnight to be first in line for sign ups. Khoa Nguyen/The State News
In past years, the CRMC campout has spanned across many days, CRMC President David Olson said. Last 2012, applications were accepted on a Monday and people started camping out on Thursday. He changed the application day to a Thursday to reduce the length of the campout this year.
The company owns more than 400 properties, making it the largest house leasing service in the area.
Olson said students hoping to get a house with the company need to be serious about it and plan ahead. People started gathering across the street at Biggby Coffee around 3 p.m. Wednesday, he added.
“We have a fair process,” he said. “There’s no backdoor deals. It’s first come, first serve.”
He added that people who really wanted a specific house stayed all night and were happy with the end result when they knew they had secured their houses and apartments for next year.
Improving the process will be a constant goal for CRMC, he said.
Electrical engineering junior Jeff Hancock and his future roommates didn’t get their first choice, but ended up with one of the six houses they had on their list. He said he believes the CRMC process is unnecessary and people should be able to sign up online.
Mary Claire Abbott, an undecided freshman, got a house with four of her friends and most of them were present throughout the night, although CRMC only requires one person to be there.
“I think it’s cool, but I think if you get your name on the board, you shouldn’t have to sleep here as long as you’re here at 7 a.m.,” Abbott said.