Accommodation has been an area of interest in the students’ life in the university and colleges. To the school administration it is a major problem with no perfect solution due to the ever increasing number of students joining those institutions. As a student, off-campus and on-campus accommodations have its merits and demerits. Whereas parents and the school administration are fighting to manage all the students within the school environs, you can trust me when I say that a majority of students are not interested in it. Actually many would prefer off-campus accommodation except a few who may not be able to afford it.
ON CAMPUS ACCOMMODATION
This is where students are accommodated within the available hostels in the school and it may also include hostels outside school which are approved and run by the school. Most parents and the school administration would prefer on-campus accommodation. To the parent it may be because he/she fears for the security of his/her child and also because maybe it’s a little bit cheaper compared to off-campus accommodation but it may also be because there are no much expenses involved in on-campus accommodation. To the school administration, they would prefer on-campus accommodation because of the security of students and maybe they also need some extra cash to run the affairs of the school. Since the main people involved in accommodation are students, I would prefer to write about the merits and demerits of on-campus accommodation to the student body:
- On the academic sector, the first merit is that it gives students a lot of time to study due to the reduced movement as compared to off-campus accommodation. Students are able to wake up early and go to places of study very easily and also they get to lectures early.
- Students on on-campus accommodation buy food cheaply at the available food outlets majorly referred to as ‘mess’.Though off-campus students may also buy this food, most of the time they are able to do it only when in school. Students on on-campus accommodation also are able to cook their own food easily using the the electrical cookers with their electricity bills being sorted by the school. They are also assured of hot water for bath being heated by water heaters and the bill still being sorted by the school.
- Students on on-campus accommodation also get advantage when it comes to school functions being organized at night and also games. They are always the first to arrive. But also when it yycomes to the ladies, men on on-campus accommodation get the upper hand since they are at their disposal 24hrs.
- The students are assured of their security when staying in school.
- The last merit may be the cheapness of on-campus accommodation where you don’t have to pay all those deposits needed in off-campus accommodation and also settle bills, for example in Kenyatta University it is around ksh3000 for JAB students and ksh6000 for self sponsored students and the cost is for 3months.
- The first demerit and one which is mostly hated by a lot of students in on-campus accommodation is the constant supervision done by the school administration. The school administration has employed people to ensure that all rules are followed by the students and such rules which students don’t follow include; cleanliness of the room at all times (boys don’t follow), no cooking in hostels, no loud music and one that is the major one is the timelines in which ladies or men are allowed to bring the opposite sex in their rooms. This one I can be a witness to it is that it is never followed at all.
- Another major demerit to the students comes when a student needs to spend a night with the opposite sex and you got roommates who you have to talk to to allow you spend the night. The term always used is known as ‘going on exile’. It becomes so hard to spend the night with the opposite sex especially if you got roommates who ‘don’t know these things’ or who do not tolerate such nonsense or immorality as they call it.
- When it comes to on-campus students who lets say have got no plans unless there is a function in school, it becomes so boring during the weekend when most students are not in school while most of the females have been taken by the so called ‘uncles’.
- During water shortage most students in on-campus accommodation may go without shower or even wear dirty clothes but one major problem during water shortage especially in Kenyatta University is the misuse of toilets by male students (nyayo 4), it becomes so intolerable.
- Food is another problem to students who mostly prefer eating in the food outlets around the school.It becomes so bad when you go to the mess and find bad food or find that the food you were craving for is not available and also the long queues in the food outlets is a major demerit.
- There is no opportunity for development since at the end of the semester or session you move out with your things so you can imagine in the case where you have household items. It’s also a challenge when each semester you have to apply for another room, chances are that you may get what you don’t want for example in Kenyatta university there is a room for 8 people, who would want that?.
- Kenyatta University is the raid by bedbugs at night and also mosquitoes. This has made students to dislike on-campus accommodation.
This is where students find their own accommodation outside campus. It is the one mostly preferred by the students and disliked by the parents and school administration. It also has merits and demerits as below:
- Privacy is one thing that most off campus students enjoy. Students do not like rules and that is why most of them prefer off-campus accommodation.
- It gives an opportunity of development in terms of being able to manage yourself and at the same time buy your own household items something which most on campus students don’t do.
- You can bring any visitor you want at anytime. No timelines in off-campus accommodation.
- There is a new experience of off-campus accommodation in terms of staying with older people and also avoiding the peer pressure in campus which may lead to such things as drug abuse and there is much focus when you stay in your house. There is also much interaction and much of the decisions made are your own.
- You cook your own food and settle your own bills thus making you more responsible and self dependent.
- It is believed that students in off-campus accommodation at the end of their schooling are more exposed to the real life itself and have got a better experience.
- One major disadvantage is the cost of renting a house which comes with many deposits and settling of bills e.g. electricity bills. Generally life becomes expensive.
- For those staying a bit far from school the cost of transport may be unaffordable thus continuous absenteeism from school which leads to poor results. Absenteeism may also be due to bad weather or sickness which may not allow you to walk to school.
- There is no ample environment of studying for example at night as compared to the studying areas in school and also libraries.
- The surrounding may be unhealthy e.g. noise pollution or insecurity thus may make the life of the student uncomfortable.
- Off-campus students also are given rules where they stay but they are not as affecting as for the on-campus students. For example loud noise.
Generally when most students are asked of their opinion regarding on-campus accommodation and off-campus accommodation all other factors constant e.g. bills, most would prefer off-campus accommodation but to the parents and the school administration, most would prefer on-campus accommodation. What’s your take on this as a student, parent or school administration?
Writer: Charles Osore