Cindy Abole | firstname.lastname@example.org | August 17, 2017
Finding an apartment or improving one’s housing situation in the Charleston area can be challenging especially for a new or returning student seeking a change in their living situation.
MUSC’s Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity has done just that - upgraded and refreshed MUSC’s Off-Campus Housing database so it’s searchable, user friendly, visual and efficient.
“This was a much-needed upgrade to our previous off-campus housing database for students and others in our MUSC community,” said Nadia Mariutto, Student Programs and Off-Campus Housing coordinator in the Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity. Mariutto led the effort working with Off Campus Partners and several MUSC campus experts to initiate the improvements more than a year ago.
The database is open to any current or potential MUSC student, faculty and staff member. Users only need to sign in and register to create a username and begin using it. Similar to Zillow, Trulia and other navigable real estate databases, this system lets users view current listings for rentals, sales and has a tool for connecting with roommates. Available properties are organized in photo blocks featuring photos and images, address, specific location, estimated costs and some floor plans, maps and other details.
For property owners, it’s user-friendly and allows them to post and manage their listings independently 24/7. Anyone in the Tri-county can list properties on this site, but listings are only viewable to the MUSC community.
The roommate finder tool allows users, who have completed a roommate profile, to search the database for people based on preferences, etc.
A resource dropdown in the navigation bar shares related forms, sample agreements (i.e. legal rights for tenants in South Carolina), utility information, checklists, parking maps, CARTA bus service information and useful campus resources.
The updated database was a plus for College of Health Professions student Emily Lievsay, who is a first-year occupational therapy student who learned about the MUSC Off-Campus Housing website via student emails and in the new student information packets.
She and her roommate, fellow CHP physical therapy student Ashley MacDonald, started using the online service to look for a fourth roommate. They both liked how easy it was to navigate throughout the site, use of photos to view listings and applied different filters to narrow down their searches.
“The drop down link is a really convenient way to explore other living amenities that were attractive,” said Lievsay. “For example, when we were looking for places on James Island, it was great to see parking and other information right there.”
MacDonald liked the resources including the contract examples, campus and downtown parking maps and CARTA bus information.
Both Lievsay and MacDonald would recommend this site to fellow students.
“The improved website provides many different options for housing throughout the Charleston area and has many useful resources all in one place,” Lievsay said.
Her roommate feels the revised webpage would be a useful resource for students seeking to match with their peers as potential roommates, and especially for those who are in a rush to find housing.
For information, visit https://www.musc.edu/housing or call 843-792-2693