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Housing fair brings realtors to students looking to rent

Nov. 16, 2004

By SARAH DIGREGORIO, reporter

Students looking for 2005 off-campus housing will have a little help this week. Bear Cribs, a student-run Web site that allows users to search for specific housing units around campus, and the junior class are hosting a housing fair from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Bill Daniel Student Center's Barfield Drawing Room.

Property managers representing local apartments, houses and duplexes will distribute housing and lease information and answer questions at the fair. Computers also will be available to students who want to use the Bear Cribs Web site during the event.

"Last year's fair was really successful," Kara Wilkerson, the Tulsa, Okla., junior class president, said. "It's the first place students can come to get all the information available when they start looking for housing."

Timing of the housing fair was important to organizers. Last year's fair was in February, which, according to Wilkerson, is a little too late to start looking for housing options.

According to Bear Cribs founder Ryan Young, a Houston senior, most students need to start gathering information now so they don't lose the unit they want.

"Leasing season tends to run from Dec. 1 until March with most units being leased in January," Donna Carbajal, Campus Realtors branch manager, said.

According to Carbajal, the housing fair is a good opportunity for the realtors to reach more students than only those who typically make trips to the leasing office.

"Pretty much every local apartment manager is going to want to be there," Young said. "Students can only do so much online. This puts a face with a name and an image with the specs online."

According to Carbajal, representatives will hand out information booklets containing history of Campus Realtors, property information and individual fliers on specific properties.

"Freshmen are the key group we are trying to help because they have never lived offcampus before," Wilkerson said.

"We are trying to get large and small complexes, as well as nonapartment options such as duplexes and houses," Wilkerson said.

Student government's involvement in the fair is two-part, Wilkerson said.

"Student government's job is to provide things students need," Wilkerson said. "We see students benefiting from the housing fair, and as long as students need it we will try to provide it."

Secondly, the housing fair acts as a fund-raiser for the junior class. According to Young, while the event is free to students, the leasing managers pay a fee for the table spaces at the fair. The proceeds from the fair go to the class of 2006 fund to pay for the senior class gift. Dr Pepper Hour will be held during the fair so students can enjoy the event.