By Rocio Hernandez
After two years of living in student apartments, University of Nevada, Reno senior Mychelle Vincent and her roommate Saundra Mason decided during their junior year that it was time to move.
“We were tired of living in student housing because of the loud parties, [the] smell of weed and the fact that college apartments are usually in bad condition because the previous tenants didn’t take care of it,” Vincent said.
It took the roommates four months to find a place that suited them. They kept coming across places that were low quality, too expensive, and looked different than the ads.
“Some places looked fine online and then we would pull up and it was so sketchy and gross that we actually locked the doors driving through the place,” Vincent said.
Campus Cribz founder Jake Shak believes that there should be a better way for students to find homes. “
We’re at an age in technology where America’s college students should have an easy to use student housing platform,” Shak said.
Pre-nursing Major Hannah Winder feels that the process would be easier if there was a college community website posting housing options for college aged adults.
“It would be helpful to have one localized place to find places to move to and people to live with.”
Campus Cribz is a free off-campus housing online resource set to launch early July that will help university students nationwide find homes and roommates. Property owners can list their home, provide application, manage rent payments, and handle maintenance requests. Users will also be able to read and submit reviews for properties, landlords, and roommates. Campus Cribz Chief Marketing Officer and UNR senior Joel Burke said that as a student, he also sees a need for a website like this.
“With Craigslist, you can find the property and sometimes a roommate and you can’t really see anything about them, sometimes you don’t even know their name,” Burke said.
Users can list criteria of what they look for in a roommate, such as age and gender. They will be able to chat with potential roommates on the website and look into their social media profiles if they are provided.
“We are thinking that most people will upload their social profiles,” Burke said. “I always think that is a good judge of what people are like so you can see if you have mutual friends. You can see if that person parties every day.”
The website will also provide a third-party resource for students that want to run background checks before settling down with a roommate. Education major Jessica Acosta looks for roommates that don’t use drugs and she thinks that a background check would help if she suspected someone was not being honest to her.
“A lot of people smoke weed and that’s not something that they tell you,” Acosta said. “If they know that you are not okay with drugs and they’re going to lie to you.”
Although Acosta has been successful at finding roommates online, she still reminds people it’s hard to tell what roommates are like right away.
“I’ve had many roommates through Craigslist and they are often very good,” Acosta said. I’ve also had UNR roommates who are hell. It’s hard to really get to know a person until you lived with them.”
Rocio Hernandez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.