The Forgotten Option: Private certified Housing blog

Many students come onto campus not really fully knowing what to expect out of their living situation. For many and most, it is the first time they have lived on their own, and along with the shocks that come with starting college classes, they also have to deal with the shock of not being at home anymore, and truly being responsible for themselves, and making sure everything in their life runs smoothly. Simply put, where you choose to live, and who you choose to live with, can greatly impact and influence your college experience. Choose a bad place to live, or bad people to live with, and the amount of stress on your shoulders can increase heavily. However, choose the right people, and the reverse is true. Having good friends in college is almost more of a requirement than a suggestion.

The same is definitely true at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.  Where most students choose to live in a dorm, and if they are not satisfied with that after their first year, they move into apartments or respective Greek houses. It’s a status quo for the most part at UIUC, but there are a few that differ from this path, and choose a third way to live on campus. Most students don’t know that this type of living exists!

Private Certified Housing is a third option for students to live on campus, with a unique set of rules, and even benefits and hardships. Koinonia Christian Cooperative House is one example of this type of living. Private Certified Housing (or as it is known by its residents, PCH for short) is housing certified by the University, but not directly regulated, run, or funded by the University itself, but by some outside group or organization.

One of the big differences in this type of living is that freshmen students can live there, rather than live in the dorms, and still have it count as on campus living.

Paxton Wiersema, a Freshman living in Koinonia Christian Cooperative House (or Koin, Koinonia for short) says that it’s the uniqueness of the house that drew him to it.

“I’ve always thought that living in a fraternity would be cool, when my friends told me about Koinonia, I jumped right in. I haven’t regretted it yet, and I’m meeting all kinds of people,” Wiersema said about the house.

Koinonia is an undergraduate fraternity, that is a part of the Greek system, but is privately run by the Baptist Housing Ministry. It houses all levels of undergrads, freshmen through senior. Jake Schyvinck is a Junior at the house. He previously lived in the typical freshmen dorms, specifically in Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall. He says that he doesn’t think most people even consider living in PCH, even if they do happen to hear about it.

“I think a lot of people hear the word Private at the beginning of it and think that it is restricted from the outside world, and that you wouldn’t be as social, or have as much fun.” Schyvinck says the exact opposite is true. “I’ve made some of my best friends here, and wouldn’t go back to the dorms for anything. I have more freedom here, and that’s something I wouldn’t trade. Living here, in the center of campus, allowed my social life to flourish even more than normal!”

Schyvinck says that if more people knew about, and took the time to look into Private Certified Housing, there would be less people frustrated about who they receive as a roommate in the dorms, or trying to find apartment space on campus.

“Koin was that third option that just ended up being perfect for me. A good living situation should never detract from your work, but it shouldn’t hinder your ability to make friends and meet people. That’s what college is about. Experience.”

You can check out the Private Certified Housing website here, or click here for the Koinonia Christian Cooperative House website!

Until next time, you can listen to my project, HERE!


I hadn’t ever done an audio piece prior to this assignment, and I was pretty worried about doing one. However, looking back on it, it was a great experience to get to know a new form of reporting. It took a bit of work, as some of my recordings weren’t the best, or didn’t have the most interesting material in them. I was mostly just trying to work out the kinks in my reporting form for this type of assignment.

I really wanted to paint a picture of what it looked like when a freshmen comes onto campus, not really knowing what they’re doing, and tries to find a perfect situation to live in in a new place.

I also had problems trying to not make my voice sound absolutely ridiculous on tape. I had a cold this week, and ended up missing class Wednesday, and my voice (though I don’t usually like it on camera or tape anyway) sounded even worse than usual! I had a minor panic attack. However, I figured the voice didn’t matter as much as long as the reporting on the topic was good. I felt safe and secure enough with my classmates, and with Professor Collins, to just be myself, and let it flow.

I think I just need to practice my on-air voice a little more! As someone who is typically a writer, I think it will still be super valuable for me to learn more about making sure my voice sounds good on tape. I have always wished I had a super deep voice, but I’ve never really gotten that type of voice on video or recording! I’m not sure why, but it always sounds so stringy!

Anyway, I figured out really well how to work the recorder, and I think that the editing was way easier than I could’ve ever imagined. I’m using how to use our software really well, and that helps a ton!

I’m looking forward to the next assignment, and honestly pretty glad to be done with this one!


I hope you enjoy it! I’ll gladly reply to any questions, and read any feedback! Thanks for reading!

1 thought on “The Forgotten Option: Private certified Housing blog

  1. Blanco, Roger

    I really liked your story! It provided me with information that I didn’t know, which I guess it’s true that you do learn something new everyday. I always wondered who lived in those house and how people got in. I walk by it everyday when heading back home, and now it’s good to know what goes on in there. You really did a good job with your package, but just like Dr. Collins says, be confident in your work because your stuff is good. Keep it up!!

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