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‘Ask Off Campus’ makes moving easier

Ask off campus
Third-year physical therapy students Lindsay Clark, Lisa Thompson, Morgan Cummings, and Cassie Gucwa get information about off-campus living. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

It’s a nearly universal fact of life, up there with the inevitability of death and taxes: Moving is hard.

But Northeastern’s Off Campus Student Services office is helping students ease the transition from residence halls to apartments of their own through a month-long series of events on Centennial Common.

The informal sessions — five more of which are scheduled for this month — give students a chance to get candid and informed answers to their housing-related questions, many of which focus on finding sublets or dealing with landlords.

“We want people to know about the services our office provides, especially right now as students may be looking for housing for the Summer II or Fall terms,” said Brian Campbell, a senior civil engineering major and a OCSS community ambassador for the Mission Hill neighborhood.

Cassie Gucwa, a third-year physical therapy major, recently moved off campus.

“The timing of moving off campus doesn’t always make it easy,” she said during Tuesday afternoon’s information session. “You have to start looking early — some of the best places, especially right around campus, are gone in January or February when the lease doesn’t even start until September — so you may not even know about housing or co-op when you’d want to start looking.”

OCSS offers a number of services to make it easier for students to move off campus, including a web-based system to find roommates or sublets. It also runs a number of programs, like the Mission Hill and Fenway Breakfast Clubs and Neighbor-to-Neighbor Spring Cleanup, that help students engage with and improve the communities around Northeastern.

The weekly breakfast clubs, which started about two years ago, let Northeastern students give back to the community by cleaning up trash on neighborhood streets before meeting at a local eatery to have breakfast together; the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Spring Cleanup, held on April 1, brought together 90 student volunteers who spent 270 hours on cleanup projects in the Fenway and Mission Hill neighborhoods.

The next “Ask Off Campus” event is scheduled for Thursday, running from noon to 1 p.m. Future sessions are scheduled for Monday, May 21 from 5 to 6 p.m.; Thursday, May 24 from noon to 1 p.m.; Tuesday, May 29 from noon to 1 p.m.; and Thursday, May 31 from 1 to 2 p.m.