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Housing for students in Vermillion

The city of Vermillion sees the majority of the university population disappear during the summer. But for those students who stay, there are many options for housing, some more affordable than others.

For students who want to live on campus, Coyote Village and Brookman Hall are the two options. Associate Dean of Students Phil Covington said McFadden and Beede residence halls are receiving renovations during the summer months. The other North Complex halls are used to house students during summer camps.

Covington said the university has competitive rates and allows students flexibility.

“It’s difficult to find a three-month contract off-campus,” Covington said. “It’s nice for students who will live on campus during the school year or who need a short-term


If students need to rent a room, but not for the entire summer, Covington said he’s willing to work with the prices for students who only need it for a few weeks.

Living off-campus is another option for students during the summer. But because most apartments or houses require at least 12-month contracts, students who are just looking for summer housing must sub-lease.

Glynis Erickson is a realtor at Dakota Realty. Erickson said most students that go through a realtor aren’t looking for summer housing. To meet their customers’ needs, Erickson said Dakota Realty offers 12-month leases.

“We look at the supply and demand,” Erickson said. “We don’t have anyone looking for a summer lease. We really try to accommodate for most people, but our first priority is to sign a year lease.”

Senior Sabrina Steffenson is living in Vermillion this summer and said she signed a full-year lease for an apartment.

“I didn’t even consider living on campus because I’m a nursing student and I’ll be a fifth-year senior,” Steffenson said. “I think Vermillion has decent living options and it’s a lot of fun during the summer.”

Sophomore Ashley Cook currently lives on-campus, but said she’s moving off-campus for the summer.

“It’s not hard to find some place to live if you know people who have houses here during the school year,” Cook said. “I actually never looked into living on campus over the summer because all the people I know are living off campus.”

Cook said she’s sub-leasing a room at a friend’s house, but because their lease doesn’t start until June, Cook had to find other living arrangements for the rest of May after school

gets out.

For other students in similar situations, some of campus’ fraternities open their houses during the summer. Most are open only to members, but others, like Pi Kappa Alpha, are open to anyone.

“The only thing we ask is that the tenants are people who will respect our house,” Pi Kappa Alpha President Darren Hedlund said. “Our housing corporation is pretty lenient.”

Each Greek house on campus has a house corporation board that makes the executive decisions on how the houses will be run and pays the bills.

Hedlund said the house is open to non-members because they want to be able to help those in need, but he also said it helps pay the bills while members aren’t living there.

USD’s sororities aren’t open to anyone including members during the summer due to their house corporation rules.

Cook said she’s living in Pi Kappa Alpha for the month before her sub-lease begins.

But even though there will be men and women living together at the fraternity house, Hedlund said there’s never been a problem.

“Fraternity men are respectful of women, so we don’t see it as a problem,” Hedlund said. “The only real problems that ever arise are just trying to get ready in the bathrooms in the morning.”

Because the fraternity doesn’t make summer tenants sign contracts, Hedlund said people can stay there for however long they need. Not having contracts and affordable prices makes the house a great option, Hedlund said.

“It’s cheaper than living on campus and we’re competitive with other housing prices,” Hedlund said. “It’s a good opportunity to live in Vermillion during the summer without signing a lease.”

If students are still looking for a place to live, Covington said the university is accepting applications right up until the student would need to move in.

Reach reporter Cassie Bartlett at [email protected].