Students camp for housing
UD students pitch tents for Lang apartments
It wasn’t the promise of new technology or live music that spurred dozens of students to set up tents on Dean Drive this week. Instead, it was the best shot at getting an off-campus apartment through Lang Development Group.
“The first night was quiet,” said Brandon Hookstadt, a junior at the University of Delaware. “It was just about just about us four [groups] and then Monday morning is when other people started arriving.”
Hookstadt – and his four future roommates – were among the UD students who spent multiple days camping out in front of the Lang Development Group office in anticipation of Wednesday, when Lang began accepting applications for more than 300 rental units next year.
Most students take turns with their roommates throughout the wait, so that some can return to their rooms for showers or attend class while someone else holds their spot in line.
Hookstadt and his friends have their eyes on Christopher Court, the apartments above Roots Natural Kitchen on Main Street.
“I know a lot of the students don’t get Lang because of this and they don’t want to camp out and they might feel that they might not have a good apartment if they don’t camp out,” he said. “But, you know, it’s all right. I’m going to be a senior. It’s a three-day thing for a nice apartment the entire year. It’s not bad.”
Jadia White, a freshman, was the second to arrive on-site Sunday.
“It’s weird,” she said. “I’ve never done anything like it before, but I know that a lot of people – like there’s another girl who did this for Firefly, so like this isn’t new to her. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.”
White said the staff at Lang has been nice to the future tenants, bringing them pizza and offering them things to drink throughout the day.
“We’re honored that tenants appreciate our product so much they’re willing to camp out for three days,” Chris Locke, general counsel for Lang Development, said last year during the annual campout. “We’re humbled by the experience.”
The tradition started about seven years ago, he said.
“There’s just like a lot of competition for Lang apartments,” said Alyssa Barnes, whose group has been there since Monday morning in the hopes of securing an apartment at Main Street Plaza. “So we came pretty early.”
Ethan Goldenthal, another student camping out, said that it gets a “little hot in the tent,” but otherwise hasn’t been too bad.
“Their policy is first come first serve,” he said. “And clearly Lang is one of the best developments in UD, so people will go to extreme lengths to get a good spot.”
Alyssa Barnes does homework while camping outside of Lang Development Group in anticipation for Wednesday morning, when Lang Development Group began accepting applications for its rental units next year.