Off-Campus Student Support has new location and name, but same goal

August 17, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK. Pa. — The Off-Campus Student Support office, formerly known as Off-Campus Living, is a resource for students who are in the process of moving off campus or are currently living off campus. The office recently moved its location from the HUB-Robeson Center to 204 E. Calder Way, suite 200.  

The new name and location reflect the office’s renewed focus on supporting students who are moving or living off campus. The move allows for more staff, programs and space to implement strategic initiatives. Moving the office brings programs and services into the off-campus community where students live.  

The office’s website offers students the ability to post or search for housing, roommates, wanted items or for sale items. Students can find help in resolving a dispute, learn about their rights as a tenant and get involved with the Off-Campus Student Union. 

One of the new services that the Off-Campus Student Support office will host in their new location is the CAPS Chat program. A CAPS Chat counselor will be available to talk to students experiencing difficulties living off campus, living with a roommate or experiencing other issues on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. This program has been available to students in the residence halls and the Off-Campus Student Support staff is excited to be able to bring it to student living off campus.

The changes are the result of a year-long strategic planning process that was led by Kelly Mroz, director of Student Legal Services. The process included evaluating the office’s current services, interviewing stakeholders, conducting student focus groups, and visiting other universities.

Mroz explains the result of this process is that, “the office will work to develop student-driven programming, to facilitate proactive relationship building with government officials, neighbors, landlords and property managers, and to offer a variety of easy-to-access programs and services tailored to fit a variety of student needs.”

One example of a new program is a neighborhood ambassador program. The program consists of student interns planning events in the community around campus while partnering with neighborhood associations to help design and develop ways to better communicate with student residents.

Off-Campus Student Support and Student Legal Services are both units of Penn State Student Affairs. The offices work closely together to support students in finding housing, dealing with landlord-tenant matters, and facilitating connections between students and long-term residents.

Last Updated August 17, 2018