North Apartments remain popular among juniors and seniors

Independent living on campus


Collegian File Photo

By Kathrine Esten, Assistant News Editor

Over Labor Day weekend, just under 1,000 undergraduate students at the University of Massachusetts moved into the four apartment buildings on the north end of campus.

North Apartments offers students the resources of living on campus with the “independence of apartment living,” according to the University’s Residential Life. The apartments are one of the most expensive living options for undergraduates, at $6,556.50, but offer many amenities not available in other residential areas. The air-conditioned housing includes four single bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a shared living room and kitchen. 

Since the four apartment buildings first opened in 2006, Abed Jaradat has served as the Residence Education Apartment Communities Coordinator. He said the privacy and utilities of the apartments are often the most popular aspects for residents.

“When I ask [residents] about what you don’t like about North, the overwhelming majority of them would say nothing . . .and continue to say, ‘I love living in North,’” Jaradat said.

While the apartments are open to all undergraduates applying for housing, the North Apartments house mostly juniors and seniors. Rather than Resident Assistants, a Graduate Assistant Residence Director lives in each of the four halls.

“This approach empowers juniors and seniors and they feel they are respected and motivated by having Graduate Assistants living and working with them. We have a commitment to our residents to have a safe, and quiet environment where they can focus on their studies and get ready to graduate,” Jaradat explained in an e-mail.

While policies are enforced, the residents “know their limits and [it is] very rare that they cross them,” according to Jaradat.

Jared Terwilliger, a psychology senior, said living in North Apartments “was a huge improvement over dorm life.”

“Having my own bedroom and bathroom was something I really missed about living at home, so being able to have those at North was amazing,” Terwilliger said.

Students in North Apartments are eligible for any meal plan on campus, but are not required to have one. The nearest dining facility, Worcester Dining Commons, offers a retail option: Chicken & Co. Though sharing a name with its Southwest counterpart, this location has a unique menu and specials, according to the UMass Dining website.

Terwilliger also highlighted the accessibility of PVTA buses nearby North Apartments, explaining he often visited the Big Y and Target to stock his apartment.

“Living at North helped me start to be more conscious of how much food I need for any given week, and how to plan out a budget to make sure I always had the essentials for the apartment without breaking bank,” he said.

Jaradat noted the kitchens are a signature part of the apartment experience, adding that “some evenings are really inviting where you are exposed to beautiful food aroma from around the world.”

While within walking distance of academic buildings, North Apartments also feature academic workshops and sessions for its residents. Three to four sessions are offered every semester.

“For example, this semester we plan to have sessions on managing your finances, resume building and interview skills for a job and how to apply for Graduate school,” Jaradat explained.

The first event planned this year for North Apartments residents is on September 5, at the Welcome Barbecue. According to Jaradat, students will have the opportunity to get to know one another, play yard games and sign up to be a member of the North Leadership Advisory Board. During the academic year, the Advisory Board will advocate for resident needs and plan future activities.

Kathrine Esten can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @KathrineEsten.