A new item has been added to the checklist for spouse-hunting BYU students.
In addition to any other attributes the mate-to-be might possess, he or she should already be signed up for on-campus married housing.As things now stand, students have to wait 12 to 15 months to get one of the 1,000 individual family units. Howard Lewis, assistant manager of Brigham Young University's Wymount housing, said more than 1,500 names are on the school's waiting list.
This encourages some people, Lewis said, to sign up for married housing even before they have found Mr. or Mrs. Right.
"You get a lot of people that come to school their first year as freshmen who put their names on the list," Lewis said. "It's just like anything else, some people plan ahead. There are single freshmen who anticipate getting married before they leave school and they sign up on the list . . . I'd do it if I was a freshman."
BYU family housing consists of 150 mobile homes in the Wyview mobile home park and 850 units in the Wymount apartment complex. The university has 80 more units under construction.
"There is a housing shortage, but when school starts everyone seems to find a place to live. It may not be their ideal situation, but they do have a place," Lewis said. "I do feel that the community is starting to address the problem."
More housing units are being developed in Provo itself, and students are starting to look in other communities for housing as well. But the advantages of living next to campus are still a big draw for many students.
"The location is a big plus. We also have real good maintenance and the grounds crew keeps the area landscaped," Lewis said.
Students who apply for family housing must fill out a form at the Wymount housing office and pay a $25, non-refundable application fee. Their names are then added to the waiting list for a maximum of two years, after which the application must be renewed.
But is the housing worth the effort? According to graduate history student David Roy Hall, it is.
"I would say by and large our experience here has been a positive one. The rent is reasonable and the heat is paid (by BYU)," Hall said.
Hall has lived in Wymount with his wife and three children for the past three years. They moved into Wymount as soon as they got to Provo.
"But we put our name on the list one year before we got here, and when we came in someone had just canceled and we got their spot," Hall said.
His suggestion for getting in: Plan ahead and make sure the housing office knows you are serious about living on campus.
"Keep coming in and let them know you are interested," he said.