Editorial: Students should use the off-campus housing database

Johns Hopkins does not provide housing for students after their sophomore year, and many students have difficulty finding a place to live after moving out of the dorms.

Students attempting to find off-campus housing have the option of using an online database located on the Off-Campus Housing website. This program is specifically tailored to Hopkins affiliates and requires a JHED account in order to use.

Though it is mostly used by graduate students and Hopkins staff, undergraduate students are also able to post and respond to listings. Students can search for housing by rent, number of rooms and neighborhood. It is also possible to post listings for subletting.

The Editorial Board commends the Off-Campus House Office for having such a comprehensive tool in place, but the Office does not promote it enough. Many students are not even aware of its existence and are unable to benefit from it. Most underclassmen find their off campus housing through word of mouth from their upperclassmen peers.

This process is often stressful for many students who don’t have intimate connections with upperclassmen. Using this database, students would be able to search for availabilities with greater ease and much less stress.

In order to increase traffic to the website, The Editorial Board suggest making it more user-friendly to undergraduates by creating search options for undergraduate-only housing.

We also suggest that the Second Year Experience (SYE) join with the Off-Campus Housing Office in promoting this database. Sophomores, in particular, are often confused by the new process of finding and leasing housing. By giving sophomores the tools to better understand their options and the process of applying for housing, we believe that the SYE would remove one of the most significant barriers affecting the transition from second to third year.

Subletting apartments can also be a difficult process for many students, particularly juniors and seniors studying abroad. The Editorial Board encourages the Office for Study Abroad to make use of the database to facilitate the study abroad process.

The Editorial Board also encourages widespread advertising of this service to the offices and companies who lease apartments, rooms and houses. While many of the listings are popular with students, there are also many common housing options that are missing from the database. If more buildings put out listings through this website, it would be immensely easier for students to survey their options.

The Editorial Board believes that by better promoting this database, Hopkins can better support students in the transition to off-campus housing.

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