August Cox, who uses plural pronouns, is a second-year student and Residential Aid, for the traditional-style Escalante dorm.
Cox decided to become an RA because they said they couldn’t afford housing off campus.
“Tuition, classes and housing are my main expenses to be here, and housing was about half of my cost to be at college,” they said.
They said that cutting out that cost has allowed them to relax a bit.
They said they're glad they do not have to work 30-hour weeks and go to college.
“As an RA I know what the living situation looks like in Escalante, and I know that there was a point where we had three people in several two-person dorms,” they said.
“There were three-person bedrooms earlier this year, but those rooms have since been moved back to two-person rooms, with students moving, transferring schools or being placed at different dom buildings,” Cox said.
Sidney Kinneen, is a third-year who lives in a four-bedroom house on the grid with three roommates.
Living on the grid costs her around $780 per month including utilities, she said.
“I work over the summers and save a lot of money and I pay for myself,” she said. “Occasionally I'll get money from my parents, but not very often.”
Originally, there were plans to live on campus but those plans did not follow through, she said.
Kinneen’s friend could only temporarily rent a room to her, so she had to continue searching for housing, she said.
She spent the month of August living at her friend's place and paid $500, Kinneen said.
“The whole month I was so stressed out and looking for somewhere permanent to live,” she said. “I went on the Fort Lewis app and that's where I found this place.”
Kinneen said that living on the grid is nice because it’s within walking distance of Main Avenue.
The city bus helps her to get around, and the bus stop is right outside her house, she said.
Tiana Padilla, is a second-year student, and she lives in the suite-style Bader B dorm.
Padilla is living on campus as opposed to off campus because it would be difficult and expensive to find somewhere off campus, she said.
Padilla and her family split the cost of tuition and housing, she said.
“A pro of living on campus is you’re closer to everything and it makes it so I don’t have to drive everywhere,” she said.
One issue about living in the dorms is you are unable to control your own heating and cooling, she said
“This summer I wasn’t sure I was going to get a place on campus,” she said. ”I thought it was definitely going to go to a first-year since first-years take housing priority.”
Trying to find housing added a lot of anxiety to her life because without housing she would have to drop out of school, she said.
Emilio Robinson, FLC student lives in a two-bedroom apartment in the Jean Pierre Suites.
“It’s quite small, to be honest with you but it’s just enough to get us through college and cover our necessities,” he said.
Together, Robinson and his roommate pay $1300 per month, he said.
He said he likes how close he lives to campus.
“I am working and going to school full-time,” he said. “I’ve saved money throughout college to set myself up to be able to pay my rent.”
He’s living there purely because of availability, he said.
“Luckily enough we were able to find ourselves in this place,” he said. “It's definitely priced higher than it should be for what it’s offering, but I think it’s just because of the location that we are in.”
The average housing price in Durango is at an astronomical cost, Robinson said
The amount was unreasonable and unfair to the average person with an average wage, he said.
Cullen Robinette, is a fourth-year student and lives with one roommate down on East 5th ave.
He is paying $1,900 a month for a two-bedroom on the grid, he said.
He is working two jobs to afford to live and go to school. He said he has also been saving up money over the summer.
There was a search for housing over the summer, but only one person contacted Robinette with a place to live, he said.
Virginia Hoaglin, is a second year living in Centennial A.
Living on campus made more sense with housing off campus being expensive, she said.
Living in the hotels made it a priority to figure out how to ride the city bus, she said.
Hoaglin was not able to accept 8 a.m classes because she was not confident in travel time from the hotel to campus, she said.
With no meal plan and no kitchen, Hoaglin had to microwave food and utilize a small refrigerator, she said.