Derek Harrison/Daily Evergreen
ASWSU hosted a housing fair Wednesday afternoon in the CUB Junior Ballroom in order to help students transition to off-campus housing.
The housing fair included representatives from Student Legal Services, the Wellbeing Program, the Pullman Police Department and 16 Pullman landlords. This is the second year that ASWSU has hosted the event.
“For many students, college is their first time living away from home and on their own,” said ASWSU Community Outreach Director Jordan Graham. “ASWSU wants to be able to provide students with resources not only about different properties that are available, but to help guide them in their decision to move off-campus and connect them with people who can help answer any questions that they might have.”
Molly Gingerich, a senior political science major and intern with Student Legal Services (SLS), said SLS provides information to students regarding their rights before they decide to move into an apartment or house, as well as their rights while they are a tenant. Wynn Mosman, the attorney with SLS, said the group’s role is to help students help themselves.
“We can tell them, ‘Here are your rights and here’s how to pursue a claim in small claims court,’” Mosman said. “We can’t really take on complex litigation, but they can hire me or anyone else licensed in the state of Washington … (to) represent them in court.”
Many students have problems with requested repairs and are often unsure of how much money they owe month to month, Mosman said.
Lisa Nelson, a secretary for the Whitman County Landlord-Tenant Association, said her association holds monthly educational luncheons with speakers including local lawyers, accountants, contractors and city inspectors.
“We act as a resource for both landlords and tenants and educate them so that we have good housing throughout Pullman,"she said."We also make sure landlord-tenant laws are obeyed.”
Booths were set up with information on housing options throughout Pullman.
Senior zoology major Hana Davis, who currently lives in a university-owned apartment, attended in order to see other options for housing.
“Living in the school apartments is nice because everything gets fixed within a day or two,” she said.
Freshman Taylor Henken, who currently lives on campus, said she is trying to find the perfect apartment for herself and a roommate.
“This was helpful, because we learned what kinds of utilities they have and how much rent is, which is important,” she said.
Mary Ann Kauwe, manager of Cougar Crest Apartments, said students need to speak with their parents about budgets so they know what they are going into.
“Students should make sure to read the lease and rules, know what they’re signing and make sure they have their security deposit and last month’s rent lined up before they commit to an agreement,” she said.
Kauwe said most apartments are accepting applications for next school year. The leases are usually for 12 months.
Students who were unable to attend the housing fair can visit the Office of the Dean of Students or www.offcampusliving.wsu.edu for more information. Graham said that ASWSU plans on putting on a housing fair next year as well, though the decision is ultimately up to next year’s administration.