The Cypress apartments welcomed new tenants for the 2015-2016 school year, expanding the experience and age range of the MVNU community.
MVNU now has four married couples and two graduate students living in the Cypress apartments.
The apartments were renovated last spring after campus officials decided to dedicate six of Cypress’ 12 units for married and graduate housing.
Director of Business Services Steven Jenkins said the idea has been a great way of reaching out to non-traditional students.
“These apartments are great for couples who are just starting out,” Jenkins said. “They also allow couples to stay on campus where the activity is.”
The housing change was prompted by the excess of on-campus housing during the 2014-2015 school year. MVNU sold the off-campus apartments on South Division Street last year, then made renovations to accommodate married and graduate students in unfilled on-campus housing.
Serra Barrett, MVNU student, wife and mother of two boys, returned to campus to complete her degree this fall after a decade away from MVNU and is thankful for this transition.
Living on campus turned out to be financially sound and “incredibly convenient,” Barrett said.
“We eat a lot of meals in the caf, and I don’t have to worry about utilities or getting my own wifi,” Barrett said. “It also makes getting to class so easy.”
Barrett said the living environment of MVNU has been great for the whole family.
“I feel comfortable with it,” she said. “The boys have handled it well. They feel very grown up and love getting to know other students.”
Graduate student Tim O’Leary said the new housing is the perfect fit for him as he begins work on his master’s degree in organizational management.
“Living in Cypress offers some privacy from the rest of campus, but I still get to be part of the community,” O’Leary said. “It’s been a nice transition for me as I just graduated and no longer have my best friends here with me.”
The newly renovated units possess a different layout than the rest of the MVNU apartment complexes. The downstairs bedroom in each unit has been converted into a kitchen and dining room, which allows residents to cook meals in their homes if they wish.
Married and graduate students are not required to purchase a meal plan.
Married and graduate housing units do not have regular room checks and are not required to use a guest pass.
Like other apartment areas, they have cable in the living room but not upstairs, and couples and graduates in these units share the laundry facilities with the rest of the Cypress area residents.
“The apartments themselves are great,” Barrett said. “The kitchen is so nice; we even have a dishwasher! I feel very spoiled!”
Units are leased on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents are not required to reapply each year once they have been approved for a unit.
The future of the remaining Cypress apartments is still unsure. Jenkins said the married and graduate housing may be expanded, but it will depend on future enrollment and residential housing needs.