Lack of pass downs leads some students to extreme measures

By Mary Scannell

Imagine camping outside for close to 24 hours to be first in line to sign a lease.

That’s what John Unger, junior in Engineering, did when he and his roommates wanted to live at Green Street Towers last year. JSM Management Inc., the realtor for many popular complexes around campus, saw almost 40 people waiting in line when they opened that morning.

Unger and his roommates were not able to get a pass down for Green Street Towers, but Alex Trevor, junior in LAS, was. Trevor is paying $900 for his pass down along with a 42″ television.

Some people are fortunate enough to network and find a pass down – when previous tenants of a unit or house arrange for the next tenants to take over their lease.

Dan Murphy, sophomore in LAS, said he is living in a friend of a friend’s apartment for next year. He plans to live in Johnstowne, also JSM property.

“There were people walking around knocking on doors,” said Kyle Kruke, junior in Business, He said pass downs are all about supply and demand. Most buildings that are popular for pass downs have good locations and are moderately priced.

Networking, however, does not always work. John Holton, junior in Engineering, knocked on several doors in the Johnstowne complex before finding four seniors willing to pass down their unit.

Although obtaining a pass down in many cases requires some sort of fiscal favor such as extra payment, Kyle Koster, junior in ACES, wasn’t asked for anything.

“We’re taking them out to dinner,” Koster said of the girls he and his roommates received their pass down from. Even though many students pay for pass downs, Unger said that lessors are not supposed to accept money.

“You can’t sell something that’s not yours,” Unger said.

There are other ways to get a pass down that don’t involve money, camping out or knocking on random doors. Meg LoBianco, sophomore in Media, moved in with roommates that already had a pass down.

Unger and his roommates did not get a pass down, but they were first in line when JSM opened their office last year to lease their remaining apartments.

“You can’t get an apartment here unless you camp out,” Unger said of Green Street Towers.

Camping out may not seem appealing, but Unger said he and his roommates are happy with their realty company and their apartment.