New University Apartments Set Out Welcome Mat for 120

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Freshly-painted walls, new furniture and untouched rooms, all within a short walking distance from campus-no, this is not a description of a high-rent luxurious Berkeley apartment. These are some of the perks lucky upper-division and graduate students will enjoy this fall, living in a new UC Berkeley apartment complex.

The newly-constructed student housing on the corner of College and Durant Avenues will open Aug. 18 to sixty upper-division students and sixty graduate students.

By fall of 2004, only graduate students will live in the complex after the Department of Housing and Dining Services phases out undergraduate residents.

The university will not allow Boalt Hall School of Law students to live in the new apartment complex because it already gives law students priority for housing in the Manville Apartments, located at the corner of Channing and Shattuck Avenues.

The graduate students will live in two-, three- or four-bedroom apartments, while undergraduate

upper-division students will occupy five- or six-bedroom apartments.

Each apartment, regardless of the number of bedrooms, includes a bathroom, kitchen and living/dining room. The fully-furnished apartments include telephone and data lines in the bedrooms.

The complex also includes an outdoor courtyard, a recreation room, study rooms, a laundry room, bicycle storage, lounges, a vending room and a mailroom.

The availability of single-occupancy bedrooms and the proximity to campus makes the apartment complex appealing to students.

Rent varies based on the number of bedrooms. Monthly rent for a six-bedroom apartment is $750 per person, while a two-bedroom apartment costs $950 per person.

"Of course I would want to live there-it's clean, new and only a block away from campus. Who wouldn't want to live there?" said Jennifer Austin, a junior at UC Berkeley. "But with so few spaces, it sounds like it would be almost impossible to get a room in the apartments."

While students received fall housing via a lottery system, the

university plans to alter the application process for the fall of 2003 because of the system's inefficiency.

Designed to entice graduate students to UC Berkeley, the apartment complex was constructed as part of an agreement with the UC Berkeley graduate division, said Michelle Kniffin, a spokesperson for university Housing and Dining Services.

"It is a recruitment tool," said Kniffin.

Unlike other graduate schools, UC Berkeley does not guarantee graduate student housing.

"Compared to other competitive universities, UC Berkeley is the only school that does not provide graduate student housing in the form of single occupancy rooms," said UC spokesperson Janet Gilmore.

A significant number of UC Berkeley graduate students come from out of state. As a result, they are not familiar with the area and are in need of university-provided housing, Gilmore said.

Currently, graduate students have two university-funded housing options-the Manville Apartments and Albany Village, which only grants housing to those with children.

Undergraduate students need not be disappointed with the university's decision to only allow graduate students to occupy the complex by 2004. Next month, the university will begin construction of additional undergraduate housing at the Unit 2 residence halls. Construction is scheduled to be completed in January 2004.


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