October and November are important months for many University students, not just because of midterms or Thanksgiving break but also because they must begin thinking about whether they want to stay in the residence halls or move into an apartment or house.

Paul Wong
LSA freshman Nick Mahanic serves food to LSA freshman Matt Kohlenberg yesterday in East Quad. Not having to cook is a popular benefit of living in a residence hall.<br><br>DAVID ROCHKIND/Daily

Roughly two-thirds of the entire University population of 36,000 lives off campus in houses, apartments or fraternity and sorority houses, said Jeffrey Micale, system administrator at the Office of Housing. Most of the remaining one third, usually freshmen and sophomores, live in residence halls.

There are, however, still a small percentage of upperclassmen who decide to stay on campus.

“You don”t have to worry about cooking, cleaning the bathroom, or subletting over the summer. You also get to meet a lot of people,” said LSA senior Muhammad Mian, a West Quad resident.

There are other students like Dan Webb, also an LSA senior and resident of West Quad”s upperclassmen-only Cambridge House, who decided to live in a residence hall because he is graduating in December.

“It makes it the easiest to move in and out,” Webb said.

However, Webb said the one disadvantage to living in a residence hall is the difficulty in finding a parking space.

In fact, due to the limited parking on campus, the University strongly encourages students to not bring cars to school.

The only residence halls that have available parking spaces for their residents are the Vera Baits Houses, Bursley Hall and Oxford Housing with 450, 185 and 50 spaces, respectively.

Lynn Colbert, administrative associate at the Entre Office, said students who want the privacy and the space of living in houses or apartments but don”t want the hassle of cooking everyday can always purchase a residence hall meal plan. There are currently 780 off-campus students who still have University meal plans.

Students can choose from any of the seven plans available ranging from the “All 18” plan to the Kosher Meal Plan. Of all the plans, “The 135 Meals plan is the most popular among off-campus students who get a meal plan,” Colbert said.

With the traditional “Any 13” plan, if the user does not use all 13 meal credits, the unused credit is not redeemable.

However, with the “135 Meals” plan, users have the freedom to choose however many meals they wish without having to worry about the unused credits going to waste.

Unused fall-term meal credits will automatically carry over to the winter term, and the meals still remaining at the end of the school year are credited back to the student”s University account at $2 per meal.

A meal plan for one semester costs $1,216.

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