Misplaced at Privateer Place
While Cabra Hall construction continues, some feel the alternate housing option at UNO is not ideal
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013 17:03
It’s a Wednesday night, and after a long day of classes, English writing junior Chantel Jackson is back at her Privateer Place apartment. It has four individual rooms and a full kitchen, as well as cable television and Internet connection. She lives in a gated community that provides basketball and volleyball courts, as well as a pool for its residents.
Loyola is housing students at Privateer Place, an apartment complex on the campus of the University of New Orleans due to the current renovation of Cabra Hall. Robert Reed, assistant vice president of student affairs, said additionally, about 120 sophomores were given exemptions to live off-campus. He also said UNO was the only other option for campus housing. According to Reed, housing at nearer colleges was not available for this year.
“If we could have found something at Tulane, obviously that would have been great,” he said. “If we could have found something at Xavier, that would have been even better, but all those options weren’t available.”
Jackson said the university kept telling her that a housing solution was coming. However, she did not learn until shortly before the fall semester began that there was space at UNO. This is due to UNO not having available spaces until two to three weeks before the semester, Reed said.
Jackson said although distance is an issue, the apartments at Privateer Place do have their benefits. She enjoys having a kitchen available at all times, as well as being able to have her own space away from campus.
“It’s nice having your own room, just a place to chill. And sometimes it’s good to just get off of campus,” Jackson said.
However, transportation is an issue for students at Privateer Place who do not own personal vehicles. Loyola provides a shuttle service for these students to get to and from campus. The shuttles do four round trips during weekdays and two round trips on weekends.
Jackson is one student who relies on the shuttle service for transportation. She said one downside to her living situation is that she lacks a private place to go to while on campus.
“On the weekdays I go to school at 11 and stay there until 6 and come back,” Jackson said.
Reed said student reaction to the apartments has been mixed. He said a big factor in opinion is based on students’ access to transportation. He also said students who had to rely on the shuttle service may not have connected as well on campus.
“Especially on the weekend, when the shuttle goes on time, you had to be ready to go back and forth. It’s not ideal,” Reed said.
Students must also adjust to the social cost of being stationed in Lakeview. Jackson said it has been harder to keep in touch with her friends at Loyola, but she still maintains contact with close friends.
“I guess with some of them I just lost contact. I mean, if you really do want to keep contact with your friends, it’s not as easy living off-campus, but you can contact them still,” Jackson said.
Though her apartment has four individual rooms, Jackson only has one other suitemate. There were supposed to be four Loyola students in the suite, but two never showed up.
Last semester, approximately 37 students lived at Privateer Place. Reed does not have an exact number but said the number has decreased. He chalks it up to the usual changes that happen in the middle of a school year.
“You’re going to get students that are not going to come back, they’re going to transfer to other schools. You’re going to have students that break their housing contract; you’re going to have students who don’t do well academically, so they’re going to go home. So that’s the case,” Reed said.
Though the apartments at Privateer Place have the public amenities for the tenants, there is not a vibrant social scene in the complex. Most suites are comprised of close friends who stick together. Jackson says that she has not interacted much with UNO students while living there.
On weekends, Jackson does not return Uptown much, citing the limited shuttle transportation on the weekends as a reason. She prefers to go downtown and appreciate the vibrant New Orleans culture. According to Jackson, the nightlife around UNO seems to be stale at best and murderously droll at worst.