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What to expect when living on campus


College offers students many new experiences. One of those experiences includes living on your own. Some students choose to live in a rented apartment in the city while others may not be quite ready to make that commitment. Living on campus is a great medium between paying rent and paying with your sanity at home. 

UTEP is not a traditional university like Texas A&M or Texas Tech whose students rely heavily on on-campus housing. Due to our university’s position in the city, many students commute to classes. However, a sizeable portion of UTEP students do live on-campus. I have met residents who come from all parts of the country and the world. I have also met others who live on the far outskirts of the city or even within El Paso. 

In my two years at UTEP, I have resided in all three housing units offered by UTEP Housing and Residence Life. In my first year, I lived out of a two-bedroom unit at Miner Village. The following semester, I was moved to Miner Heights. 

Currently I reside in Miner Canyon, which is the university’s flagship housing hall as it opened in 2015. 

Canyon, which consists of Copper and Whispering Halls, had a price tag of $23 million and it shows. Each unit includes a fully furnished kitchen and bathroom. Multi-room units also come with a living space for residents to spend time together along with ethernet ports to guarantee reliable connectivity. I happen to live in a four-bedroom six-person unit, but Canyon also offers four-bedroom four-person units and studio units for one person. There is also a leisure room which houses a pool table on the second floor of Whispering Hall. Laundry rooms are also available, as is the case for all the complexes. The greatest asset to Canyon must be the sight as it is nestled between the rocky terrain of El Paso. 

As new as Canyon may be, there are many shortcomings. Mail must be picked up at Boquillas Hall, which is entering the complex and is a hefty uphill climb from the units. Parking can be an issue as I have had to use the overflow parking lot often, which is just the Recreation Center parking lot. These issues are not deal breakers for me, but the greatest sin Canyon can commit is the fact that it is nearly two miles away from campus. UTEP Parking and Transportation attempts to alleviate this problem by offering a shuttle service to and from the university, but it has just become another thing I have to worry about as the shuttle’s arrival time varies by time and day of the week and student traffic. 

Miner Heights is located on Schuster Avenue and opened in 2010. Heights does not offer single units but provides one-bedroom two-people units and two-bedroom four-person units.

Heights is quite serviceable and, in my opinion, is an overall step up from Canyon given the walking distance from the university. That being said, Heights is nothing exceptional as it offers several of the same amenities as Canyon like a kitchen and bathroom. 

The real gem must be Miner Village. Opened in 2001, Village has four-bedroom four people units, two-bedroom two-people units, two-people studio units and one-person studio units. 

All the housing complexes offering the same base amenities, Village adds to those by offering a student area Summit Hall, Village’s housing office. This student area welcomes residents by providing Mac and Windows computers, a printing station, a pool table and a ping pong table. Mail is also located in Summit Hall past the front desk. 

The greatest feature of the complex must be the proximity to the school. Residents can walk to Centennial Plaza in less than 10 minutes since the Village is located behind the Education Building.

Another bonus is the span of restaurants, businesses and stores made available due to the complex’s location in Oregon Street. 

Panda Express, Walgreen’s, Subway, Great Clips, AutoZone, Domino’s, McDonald’s and Cane’s are all within a five-minute walk from Miner Village. 

Money may scare people away as I have heard horror stories of people paying upwards of $12,729 a year for a shared space with a community bath at other institutions. Fortunately for UTEP students, rates only range from $2,079 to $3,140 a semester. 

Living on campus is a great thing as it opens the opportunity to not only meet new people but it is  a chance to build character and grow on your own set of rules.

Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is the sports editor and may be reached at [email protected]: @rivasemmanuel2 on Instagram. 

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About the Contributor
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela, Contributor/Writer
Emmanuel Rivas Valenzuela is a contributor for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with minors in political science and Chicano studies. Emmanuel served as sports editor at The Prospector and as a writer with Minero Magazine. Now, Emmanuel is interning at El Paso Matters and is a contributor at The Prospector.
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What to expect when living on campus