The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Housing shapes college experience

Nicole Robinson

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a three-part series on student housing.

Senior Nick Lagermaier lives in the thick of the “student ghetto” on the 400 block of Chippewa Street, and he said the difference between this year and the last is dramatic.

Last year, he and his roommates had a house on Farwell Street and were surrounded predominantly by families, creating what could be, at times, a tense atmosphere.

“It was a lot less fun,” he said. “You had to be a lot more careful at night being loud.”

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Many students agreed with Lagermaier, saying they prefer their neighbors entrenched in the same college lifestyle as their own.

But Matt McHugh, manager of McQ Properties, 630 Water St., said in his experience as a landlord, college students and their neighbors have created only a few problems.

“We really feel students in general are respectful,” said McHugh, adding he will see an occasional noise complaint.

He also said when problems do arise, tenants should be proactive and address them face-to-face with their neighbors.

Off-campus students generally are split into different areas, depending on which side of the Chippewa River they live on.

But students are spread into other areas of the city as well.

Junior Walker Flannery lives behind Shopko, 955 W. Clairemont Ave., an area occupied almost entirely by non-students.

He said he and his roommates have had no troubles with their older neighbors.

“We haven’t had any problems with our neighbors,” Flannery said. “We haven’t really met them yet, but it’s been fine.”

He chose to live there because the mother of one of his roommates owned the house, giving the group a less expensive deal.

“I think I would like to be down more by the students,” Flannery said. “It would probably be more fun, (but) up here, I can concentrate on studies better.”

Junior Dan Urban lives on the 600 block of Water Street and said it is easy to live around his neighbors, all but one of whom are students.

“He lets us know when we’re making too much noise, and that’s fine with me,” he said.

Urban said he enjoys the atmosphere on Water Street because there is always something going on, even if it keeps him awake some nights.

Housing also is available above businesses on Water Street, something junior Catherine Hennessy took advantage of.

She lives above the Pioneer Tavern, 401 Water St., and said she pays about average rent.

She said she enjoys living there despite being able to feel the bass of the bar below.

“We knew coming in that that would be the downside,” Hennessy said. “But I like (living there) a lot.”

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Housing shapes college experience