Spelman married suites give undergraduate couples handy housing optionand Hannah Baynesan | Oct 16, 2018
This year, all five undergraduate student married housing apartments in Spelman Halls are occupied by married couples.
A married housing apartment in Spelman Halls feature a private bathroom, a kitchen, a common area, and one bedroom. For the five couples who live there, the apartments help them balance their married lives with their undergraduate careers.
According to Matthew Kritz ’18 and linguistics concentrator Yael Lilienthal ’19 — one couple who lives in married housing — maintaining this balance can be difficult.
“We want to be a part of the campus community, to see our friends, but also we’re obviously married,” Kritz said.
In an email to The Daily Princetonian, University deputy spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote that married housing has been available to students since at least the 1990s to “accommodate the housing needs of all members of our diverse student community.”
According to Hotchkiss, the charge for a married couple living in a Spelman suite is one- and-a-half times the cost of a single student living in a Spelman suite.
The Office of Housing deferred comment to the Office of Communications.
To live in married housing, couples have to request a suite from the Office of Housing via email and show proof of their marriage. Couples were often given apartments while most other undergraduate students were in the process of drawing for rooms.
Apart from helping married couples stay connected to the campus community, living in married housing provides several financial benefits. For instance, Yeshiva University alumna Rachel Beiser, who is married to Moshe Beiser ’19, noted that she and her husband don’t have to worry about paying for utilities.
“It’s nice to not to have to worry about things like electric bills and Wi-Fi,” Beiser said.
Kritz echoed these sentiments, noting that, as he and Lilienthal recently married in August, married student housing helped ease their transition into married life.
“Getting married is a big transition. Having to find a new community and a place to live just adds so much stress to that,” he said. “The fact that we didn’t have to do that made the transition that much easier.”
Despite the benefits of married housing, the couples still had to work to transform their dorms into a home.
“Bringing some things from our wedding registry made it feel less like a dorm. Even the unnecessary tablecloth we have sitting in a drawer makes it feel more like home,” Kritz said.
Sam Schultz ’19, a history concentrator, and Mallika Viswanath ’17 — another married couple living in Spelman — added that they carefully selected different pieces of furniture and decorations for their apartment.
“We bought a real bookshelf, one that we’ll take with us to our future home. We have books we never read but just have. We hung framed things on the walls, not just posters,” Schultz said.
As recent alumni, Kritz and Viswanath have found their experience of living on campus to be different now that they have graduated.
For Kritz, it’s “the best of both worlds.”
“I love the campus, people are great, I have library access, but I’m glad to not be taking classes anymore. I’m in a different mindset,” Kritz said.
Viswanath, on the other hand, feels disconnected from her own experience at the University.
“It’s the place where I live, but since most of my friends have graduated, I don’t view it as a continuation of my four years here. I mostly spend time with Sam’s friends and his community,” she said.
Married undergraduates are assigned to graduate housing if the Spelman suites are full or if they have children. Juniors and seniors also have the option to live off-campus.
The article has been corrected to clarify other housing options that married undergraduate couples could have. The 'Prince' regrets the error.