88° San Marcos
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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

A different kind of housing crisis: Students move into poor apartment conditions

CastleRock+at+San+Marcos+resident+Kaitlyn+Ponce+has+been+living+in+her+unit+with+a+broken+door+since+move-in.

CastleRock at San Marcos resident Kaitlyn Ponce has been living in her unit with a broken door since move-in.

After living in San Marcos for a couple of years, chances are residents know someone who has experienced student living or have experienced it firsthand. Sometimes, the process is painless: a lease is signed, insurance is acquired, keys are picked up and a hot summer day is spent moving in.
However, for students in San Marcos, the process isn’t always simple.
This year’s move-in cycle for Texas State students has consisted of moldy bathrooms and kitchen cabinets, broken appliances and even carpets stained with animal feces, causing students to grow weary of the declining standard of student living in San Marcos.
Emily Kent, a finance senior, tells of her experience at Copper Beech, a townhouse-style apartment complex that has over 40 buildings. Rates start at $675 for an upgraded four-bedroom unit and amenities such as a resort-style pool, grilling stations and basketball and sand volleyball courts attract many residents including Kent.
“When I first moved in, I immediately got the wrong apartment. I was supposed to be in an upgraded unit, but instead, I got an old one,” Kent said. “My roommates and I all went to the office to complain, and they told us that there was nothing they could do, and we’d still have to pay full price for an upgraded unit even though ours wasn’t fully upgraded.”
She accounts for the condition of their apartment and how the complex could have done better.
“We were missing half of our furniture, and there were multiple holes punched in the wall,” Kent said. “In general, the move-in process was also super messy. It taught me that you should never set your expectations high when it comes to student living.”
Taylor Pye, a psychology senior, also had a grueling move-in process at Villagio. Villagio advertises itself as an upgraded student living experience with four-bedroom units starting at $539 and amenities like a theater room as a key selling point. However, as soon as she walked into her apartment it was apparent to her she was not getting her money’s worth.
During her first night at Villagio, she compiled a list of things wrong with her unit which included a bedroom door not shutting, wall outlets painted over, water damage on the ceiling and in the cabinets, a bathroom sink that flooded the bathroom, dirty tubs, a broken dishwasher and a hole in the wall that was attempted to be covered by the dryer.
The process of trying to get these issues fixed was met with difficulty by management and maintenance staff who only seemed to do a half-job on most of the repairs her unit required.
According to Pye, the staff at Villagio’s front office offered little help.
“We’ve been living here for almost two weeks now, and every maintenance request we put in has been marked completed, even though they haven’t come to fix any of it,” Pye said. “When my boyfriend and I were trying to talk to the office about the bathroom sink, all they did was talk to us like we’re stupid, and then finally after asking them multiple times, they resorted to turning the water off and not fix anything. On top of that, when maintenance did finally come to fix something, it wasn’t even for us.”
Students like Kaitlyn Ponce, a consumer affairs junior, who have been living in their units for over a month at CastleRock apartments have yet to see any attention paid to maintenance requests. CastleRock’s four-bedroom unit’s rent starts at about $497 and advertises itself as having the largest dog park in San Marcos.
“My biggest problem moving in is that my door was broken in half,” Ponce said. “My roommate who was living there before said the fire department needed to get in the room for a non-emergency situation, and instead of going to the office and getting a key they broke the door in half.”
Ponce has submitted numerous maintenance requests to the office and tried calling, but a month later, she is still living with half of a door.
She also moved in to find baby cockroaches in her unit, which has her living in fear that her apartment is cockroach-infested.
“I’ve lived in other places and it’s all the same story; apartments that don’t look great, and management that couldn’t care less. The standard of student living in San Marcos is definitely on the decline. Now I have this perception that no matter where I go, it’s just going to suck,” Ponce said.
And, as time goes on, the perception of student living continues on a downwards spiral. Student feel like they are being cheated out of their money when they move into an apartment with almost unlivable conditions.
As time goes on, the perception of student living continues to be on the decline. Residents feel like they don’t get their money’s worth when the conditions of the apartments they move into are almost unlivable.
“I remember when I first walked into my apartment sophomore year I wanted to cry. I was so tempted to just drive back home because I was like ‘why should I even unpack when this isn’t what I asked for?’” Kent said.
Students moving into their first college apartment expect the unit to reflect the advertisements of the complex. However, that is not the case for students like Kent, Pye and Ponce.
“I should be focusing on my first week of school, but instead I’m stressed because I feel like I’m living in a nightmare,” Pye said.
Editor’s Note: Per management of all complexes mentioned, no comment was given.

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