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President Nellis speaks during the first student senate meeting of the year at Ohio University on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. (File)

Student Senate sent bill to create Off-Campus Partners

Student Senate approved a bill encouraging Ohio University to partner with Off-Campus Partners to facilitate the creation of an off-campus housing database.

The database would form landlord ratings and a review systems for houses, which will be used to protect the interests of students.

Off-Campus Partners makes it easier to search for off-campus housing through a software platform, which lists the services of housing at different universities throughout the nation.

The service is accessible and offers services to all students, especially international students and graduate students who may need to view landlord ratings and possible housing prior to being accepted to the university.

If implemented, the database would be free to use and could potentially create and provide funds for further off-campus resources.

Smith said the Off-Campus Affairs Commission has been discussing the institution of a potential housing database and has looked at possible companies to partner with. The sponsors of the bill said Off-Campus Partners provided the most comprehensive and easy-to-use platform.

The platform is customizable and adaptable to the specific needs of each student. Parker Smith, off-campus affairs commissioner, said there is a serious need for more resources to assist students to find off-campus housing.

Mallory Golski, a senior studying journalism strategic communications, said it would be extremely beneficial because finding housing can be very stressful.

Emma Chubb, a junior studying biological sciences, said it would be a helpful resource for students

“It would be nice to have that information ahead of time,” Chubb said. 

Other universities in Ohio, including Miami University, Kent State University, University of Cincinnati and Bowling Green University, have a similar platform accessible to students.

The bill was sent to Assistant Director for Community Engagement Programs Barbara Harrison, Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones, Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina, President Duane Nellis and the Board of Trustees.

If the university does not approve the partnership, Student Senate is urging the university to partner with a similar software.


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