One of the biggest reasons why students come to Sonoma State University, rather than another CSU, is because of the on-campus housing. Most people would agree that it is a big perk to have a comfortable place to live while going to school.
The problem, though, is that once students begin their junior and senior years, it can be incredibly hard to find a suitable place to house themselves. There are the upperclassmen housing areas, but it starts getting pricey to get your own room and bathroom. In addition, things such as the lack of parking, and finding a time when a laundry machine is open, start to become a hassle.
Many of the houses in Rohnert Park do not allow for cosigners, and many members of the community do not want college students as their neighbors because of their contrasting lifestyles. This leads to higher rental prices in the area, which is a huge downside for many college students who are already struggling with money.
The solution to this would be a student section in Rohnert Park. This would be similar to what Sonoma State did in Petaluma when they bought a complex to house employees. There are two options for creating an off-campus student housing area. The short term option would be doing what they did in Petaluma and buying an off-campus area specifically for students. Buying an already-constructed or almost finished housing complex would make the process go a lot quicker. The other long term option would be to use the open areas by K Section and build houses to create a student community.
To pay for either option, Sonoma State can do what they did in Petaluma and have the tenants (students) pay for it through rent. By creating a space for upperclassmen, Sonoma State could alleviate the congestion of freshmen and sophomores seeking to find housing in Sauvignon and the adjacent villages, and move them over to Beajoulais and Tuscany where the older students stay currently. So instead of having students live everywhere from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, they could create a space walking distance from the school that would instill a feeling of community and school pride.
One of President Judy Sakaki’s goals is to raise the percentage of students living on campus from 30 percent to 50 percent. One could only imagine this is to help instill Seawolf pride in the students of Sonoma State. By creating a student-only area adjacent to campus, it would do the same things Sakaki is talking about, but it would create a more independent lifestyle that older college students desire.
This would be no easy project, but it would make life easier for students and help Sonoma State prosper for years to come.