Student Housing Newest Change at Texas A&M International University

Early response to student housing at Texas A&M International University indicates that the campus' conversion to a residential campus is being well-received by students and their parents. One and two-bedroom units in the $5.1 million complex are already sold out.

University Village, on-campus apartment-style student housing, will begin move in mid- August for the start of the Fall 1997 semester. Located in a private wooded area on the campus' west side, the privatized initiative will provide housing for 250 students in a garden apartment-style setting.

A&M International president Charles Jennett said the availability of affordable student housing signals a new era for Texas' newest four-year University.

"The addition of on- campus student housing is crucial to the University's continued growth and development. University Village will allow us to be able to offer a more complete student life dimension and, more importantly, provide the many out-of town or commuting students with an affordable student housing option," said Dr. Jennett.

University Village is a far cry from the dormitories most recall from their University experiences.

All rooms are fully furnished and each resident has a private bedroom and bathroom. Other amenities include free cable, in-room free Internet access, clubhouse lounge with wide-screen TV, a convenient computer lab, on-site management and laundry facilities. Completing the complex are a spa, swimming pool and a beach volleyball court. The enclosed garden style complex is lushly landscaped and features security card entry. The 48x22 swimming pool features the Universityıs initials across the pool bottom in large tile letters. In addition to one and two-bedroom units, three and four-bedroom units are available. All facilities meet ADA guidelines.

Joe Garcia, A&M International vice president for finance and administration, said the provision of free Internet access is a big plus for the University's student residents and in keeping with the University's high technology focus.

"This is a tremendous benefit for our students. Many universities around the nation are saying this is something they want to do. However, very few of them actually have Internet access in their student housing individual bedrooms, " he said.

Garcia said students have only to hook up their Internet-ready computer in their private room and access the Universityıs Home Page to begin their cyberjourney.

"Students will be able to access needed information for research projects, check library holdings, receive and send email and have 24-hour free access. They'll sign on to the Home Page and begin their links from there," he explained.

Michael Hanley, University Village general manager, said University Village is dedicated to accomodating student needs and preferences and has patterned its financial arrangements to the needs of full-time students.

"For example,the housing payments may be structured around the release of a student's financial aid award letter. Under certain circumstances a student can even get a larger financial aid award by living in University Village. And because the resident agreements are individual lease liability, no matter what unit a person lives in, a student resident is only responsible for his or her portion on the rent, never a roommate's. To help with monthly costs, the Housing Office also pays up to the first $30 of each unit's monthly utility bill. Also there are no utility deposits, hook-up or trash fees," he explained.

Texas A&M International Universityıs University Village is a joint project, born of a partnership between Austin-based American Campus Lifestyles Companies, Texas A&M International University and the Texas A&M University System. American Campus Lifestyles Companies is developing and managing the property.

For additional information, please contact University Village at 956.326.3878, or visit offices located in the on-campus complex.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu