Married students discuss living off-campus, offer suggestions for SNU

Chapman Apartment used to include housing for married students. Married students give their take on living off-campus. (Photo by Stephany Reyes.)

By Brad Crofford, Editor-in-Chief

It’s often been joked that college students can only choose two of the following three things: sleep, a social life, and good grades. Some students balance an extra thing: marriage. This is the second article in a two-part feature about married student life at SNU.

Another alternative aspect of life for married students is living off-campus. Years ago, Chapman Apartments included housing for married students, but now there is no designated married student housing on campus. The married students we interviewed also had differing views on this.

The Murillos have lived off-campus since getting married in August of 2010. They think that living off-campus has both positives and negatives. In terms of negatives, they described difficulties in socializing with the campus community. For positives, they described the cost savings.

“It’s better for us to live off-campus. $500 [for rent] covers both of us, so it’s cheaper,” Josue Murillo said.

They think that the university should keep the idea of married students living off-campus, but should give them priority over single students for renting the properties that the university owns in the surrounding community.

Underwood thinks that the experience of searching for a place to live and living off-campus is valuable. “I really enjoy it. I think it’s a good thing they don’t offer married housing…You have to grow up, learn how to find a place to live, balance work and people,” senior Hillary Underwood said. “It’s fun. We have a house and can have people over.”

Others, however, think that providing married student housing on campus would be a good option.

“It would be nice to have more married housing like what Chapman used to be,” Marissa Callen said. “This would ease some of the financial stress and make it easier to attend school events as well as socialize with friends living close by.”

The students we interviewed offered suggestions for the university that would make life easier for married students.

The Murillos said it would be good if SNU offered a scholarship for married students similar to the sibling scholarship. They also suggested that it would be nice for school events to be scheduled later in the day. Josue Murillo said that many couples have to work, and Ginger Murillo suggested that instead of having events around 5 or 6 p.m., they could be schedule around 7:30 or 8 p.m.

Ginger Murillo also suggested that because it’s a Christian school and seems to promote marriage, “maybe SNU should have activities for married couples.” She said that everything seems to be for single students.

It’s worth noting that the university has taken steps to reach out to help married and soon-to-be married students. For example, it has in the past offered a weekend couples’ retreat for dating, engaged, and married students. Underwood and Bre Frees both went on one of these retreats.

“I highly recommend it,” Underwood said, noting that she and her husband also did their premarital counseling at SNU.

Read more about married student life at SNU, including balancing responsibilities and relationship advice.