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An Evening With the Apartment Campers

Grab your tents, grab your sleeping bags. You finally have another excuse to camp out. Except this time, make sure to bring a safety deposit.

No no, this isn’t another profile on Paternoville. This time, we’re camping out for something longer lasting than front row tickets for a Penn State football game.

We’re camping out for next year’s housing. We’re camping out so we don’t have to lock our door at night from that crazy roommate (like that new movie featuring Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl). We’re camping out so “sexiled” is no longer in our vocabulary.

As Penn State’s on-campus housing gets more and more scarce, downtown housing gets more and more difficult (or expensive) to acquire, and students must take decisive action to secure the housing of their choice.

So like the true Penn Staters they are, they take to the sidewalks, a triple espresso coffee in one hand, a blank check from mom and dad in the other. If you were near GN Associates Realty offices last night, on the corner of Burrowes and Calder, you might have seen this phenomenon with your own eyes. What’s incredibly interesting is that many of these kids might not even get apartments; they’re camping out just to get put on the wait list. With dozens of students and only a handful of apartments, the camper’s competitiveness starts to show.

Still, some students don’t have much of a choice in a town where there is a monopoly on housing. They do what they can, though.

“We’re just poor college kids hoping we’ll be living in something better than this next year,” said one girl, referring to her tent as her eyes moved around the perimeter of her current dwelling.

So what do you think? Would you camp out for housing? Or better yet, have you? Tell us about it in the comments.

About the Author

Becky Perlow

Becky is a feature writer for Onward State. Currently on her victory lap (read: fifth-year senior), she studies both journalism and hotel/restaurant management at Penn State. She hails from Charm City, Maryland, and as a rabid Ravens fan, she isn't afraid to insult the Steelers QB ("No means no!"). She also loves to travel -- she's been to 26 countries and counting!

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