The ASMSU Senate unanimously approved a resolution on Thursday, Nov. 4, encouraging MSU to direct student funding to create an Off-Campus Life Office in the SUB. The goal of this office would be to help students find stable housing possibilities and provide centralized access to other resources.
Atticus Cummings, an at-large ASMSU senator, sponsored the resolution, and Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Ellie Jackson and Engineering Senator Nicholas Fitzmaurice co-sponsored the resolution. “The office will be a great resource for students looking to rent to get free legal consultation, avoid scams and get the best deals,” Cummings explained.
The Off-Campus Life Office would house services like the Bounty of the Bridgers Food Pantry, the university’s emergency housing program and MSU Legal Services. The Bounty of the Bridgers Food Pantry is a student-driven initiative located on MSU’s campus to support students, faculty and staff members facing food insecurity. The senators hope the office would provide a list of available rentals and work with local rental agencies to ensure students can find affordable housing and provide students with the right utility options to keep the households as sustainable as possible.
“I hope that the Off-Campus Life Office will provide an MSU voice to negotiate with landlords regarding fair rental prices as well as a point of contact with the city to provide input on new development projects,” Cummings said.
The office would reside in the SUB and the resolution encouraged the SUB Advisory Board and the university’s Space Management Committee to find a space for the office in a “high-traffic and high visibility area of the SUB with a minimum size of 700 square feet.” The SUB Advisory Board is responsible for overseeing the SUB, while the Space Management Committee manages space allocation for the MSU campus.
“The Off-Campus Life Office is a place where we will consolidate all of MSU's applicable resources in an easily accessible location to provide students with the best living situation possible,” Cummings said. “We hope that we can be a force to negotiate with rental agencies to ensure fair, reasonable and sustainable options are available to any student who wishes to live off campus during their time here at MSU.”