Campus neighborhood profiles: Which neighborhood is right for you?
Spring time is approaching, and it’s surprisingly stressful. Don’t be fooled by the sunshine and the always-looming summer break — for many students, spring is the time to apply for jobs, finish up those scholarship applications you’ve been putting off and to finally start looking for housing for next year.
On top of the demand of actually finding a house, there is something else that needs to be considered: What neighborhood are you going to want to live in? Do you want to live on the loud side of campus or the quiet side? In a residential neighborhood or a student-populated neighborhood? Is there a grocery store nearby? What about transportation? Are you going to be able to afford a house on the east side of campus? Will it have enough room for you and all your friends?
In an effort to decrease a little of the stress that comes along with house hunting, check out the profiles below of the four major neighborhoods surrounding campus, as described by students who live there this year. Read on to see what they had to say about their houses, their neighborhood experience, their favorite nearby amenities and what kind of students they think will fit best in their neighborhood.
The Fairmount Neighborhood (East University)
“There are a lot of family homes around here, and you definitely get the feeling that this is a neighborhood not just for college students,” said Jaclyn Rushing, a romance languages major who moved into the Fairmount neighborhood this year.
Stretching from Judkins Point on the east to the University campus on the west, and then from the Willamette River to 30th Street, the Fairmount neighborhood consists largely of houses and new townhouses.
Hendricks Park, Market of Choice, Matthew Knight Arena and Franklin Boulevard (close to both Lane Transit District bus lines and the freeway) are all draws to the neighborhood, which Rushing describes as quiet, community-oriented and unique.
“Everything is within walking distance … We’re really close to campus and it’s nice to have a grocery store so close. My roommate kayaks, and we go to Bend a lot, and we’re just right by Franklin Boulevard, so we can get out of town really quickly,” she said.
West University Neighborhood
Spanning approximately nine blocks west of campus, the West University Neighborhood is 98 percent renter occupied, according to the Office of the Dean of Students. These renters are largely students living in the numerous houses and apartment complexes found throughout the neighborhood.
“It’s pretty noisy, pretty rowdy,” biology major Katie Schweber said of the neighborhood. “But it’s really close to campus so it’s really nice, and there’s lots of other students.”
Increasing crime rates have been a concern for many students this year, and Schweber and her four other roommates have first-hand experience with this. Her roommates have had some of their mail stolen, and upon moving in, they found an unknown person sleeping in their backyard.
But overall, the affordability and the location have been a positive for Schweber, who likes being close to campus as well as grocery stores and other amenities.
“It’s easy to get downtown and to the Saturday market, and even for like 5th street, it’s 10 blocks but it’s just a straight bike ride there, and everything’s pretty flat,” she said. “There’s no hills, so it’s just easy to ride your bike around here to any location you want to go.”
South University Neighborhood
South University Neighborhood features a mix of houses, townhouses and apartments and includes a large portion of student renters as well as families and other Eugene residents. The neighborhood reaches from 18th Avenue to 24th Avenue and Agate Street to Patterson Street.
According to Sheila McGraw, a 21-year-old planning, public policy and management and Spanish double major, there can be pros and cons to living in such a neighborhood as a student.
“The neighborhood is a mix between homeowners and renters, which has a lot of different implications. It has as different vibe,” she said. “There’s more of a quiet lifestyle here that comes with living in a mixed (renters and homeowners) neighborhood. A loud lifestyle and a lot of noise is not tolerated.”
After spending a year living in the West University neighborhood, McGraw has enjoyed this different lifestyle, and she also appreciates how close it is to campus with its easy bike access.
“If you study a lot and like quiet, this would be a good neighborhood for you. If you’re more of a rowdy student, I would not recommend this place,” McGraw said.
Chase Village, Ducks Village and the Harlow area
“With my roommates, who I met in the dorms last year, we were looking for places to live, and Chase Village was just an easy place to get into. We didn’t have to go through a really heavy housing search, “ said Delaney Butler, a 20-year-old political science major who moved into his apartment at Chase Village at the beginning of the school year.
For many students, this is the draw to Chase Village and other apartment complexes in the Harlow area. Offering apartments with 1-3 bedrooms, Chase Village is targeted largely toward University students, with a lease opportunity that spans only the school year and a close proximity to Autzen Stadium.
“I like how quiet it is and how much space I have compared to living the dorms,” Butler said of his apartment, also citing rent affordability as one of his main draws there.
Despite this, there is still one thing to consider about the Harlow neighborhood: location. The apartment complexes are located north of campus, near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Autzen Stadium.
“Living so far away from campus feels like a hassle sometimes — especially when it’s raining,” said Butler, who said the bus and bike ride to campus takes about ten minutes. “But the flip side is sometimes it is kind of nice to have that bike ride between campus and home, so that’s kind of a positive as well as a negative.”
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