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Devon apartments offered as a solution to housing crunch

Six female Eastern University students recently moved into a suite in Home Properties of Devon apartment complex.

The apartment came equipped with all of the necessities for living, including flatware, towels, sheets, furniture and even cable.

“All we had to do was move our clothes and food in,” Kayon Watson, an Eastern senior and the RA of this unique Eastern-sponsored housing endeavor, said.

According to vice president of student development Bettie Ann Brigham, the Devon option had been on her mind all summer because several students did not have housing.

“When it came to August and there were still people on waiting lists, some people were calling and saying, ‘Oh, I should go to Pennswood because it’s close to opening and I have no place to go,’ but Pennswood was full,” she said.

From that point, Brigham began looking for other options, including trying unsuccessfully to find more space in Pennswood.

Finally, she began to look at options in the area for apartments. The decision was made to choose Devon Home Properties as a place to house students who had been on the waiting list.

The choice was made by Brigham and Daryl Hawkins, dean of students, based upon the fact that Devon is close in proximity, best in accessibility and in pricing for an Eastern students.

The students are charged $5,080 per year, the same rate as an on-campus apartment. The apartment has three bedrooms, the largest of which includes a walk-in closet and a second bathroom.

In order to get the apartment confirmed and leased in time, at least five girls had to be willing to take the option.

According to Brigham, if more students had been interested, more apartments would have been leased.

After five girls chose to live at DHP, the search for an RA began. Six girls, either prior RA candidates or referred by various staff members, were interviewed.

In the end, Watson was chosen, and said she loves the experience.

“I miss out on making new relationships with a wide range of people,” she said. “However, living with five people that I do not know, I have a better chance to develop a deeper friendship with them.”

Although she has to sacrifice certain things like spending time with friends, she has focused in on the five new people who she feels have been placed in her life for a reason.

Although the new residence hall is on schedule to be completed in August 2007, apartments will continue to be an option if necessary.

“There’s no way to predict [housing] 100 percent; and I’m not being trivial but, I pray about it all the time,” Brigham said.

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