Blackbird Farms offers welcoming community for Purdue graduate students and postdocs
Graduate students and their families who were former residents of Purdue Village gathered together for a community celebration hosted by the Graduate School on Sept. 1 at Blackbird Farms.
Linda Mason, dean of The Graduate School and professor of entomology, the Graduate School Dean’s Cabinet, and Barbara Frazee, assistant vice provost, were present to welcome graduate students to the community, all of whom had relocated to the residential facility from Purdue Village.
Married couple Jianping Wang (left), a third-year graduate student, and Fanfei Meng, a postdoctoral scholar—both in the College of Pharmacy and former residents of Purdue Village, are enjoying the larger apartment and recreational amenities at Blackbird Farms.
Outside the Blackbird Farms Clubhouse, under a large tree and overlooking a pond, graduate students, a postdoctoral scholar, faculty, and administrators assembled in sports chairs, enjoyed tacos, and chatted about the turn of events that started when the students received a notice in spring 2021 that they had to vacate their apartment in Purdue Village, a Purdue Research Foundation-owned residential facility which has been slated for demolition.
“When I first received the email that said you have to move, at that time I didn’t want to move,” said Fanfei Meng, postdoctoral scholar in the College of Pharmacy who lived in Purdue Village with his wife, Jianping Wang, a third-year graduate student in the College of Pharmacy. “I didn’t know what the environment was like in Blackbird Farms. But when we moved here, we found that we like it here very much.”
The University worked with the management of Blackbird Farms to find units for displaced Purdue Village graduate student residents. Even though it is a privately-owned facility, the former Purdue Village residents maintain a lease with University Residences and are currently paying the same rent they paid at Purdue Village, thanks to a University subsidy.
“We were excited that Purdue Residences was able to find housing at Blackbird Farms for the graduate students who were living at Purdue Village. We think it will be an excellent service provider for both current and future graduate students and their families,” said Mason.
The University chose Blackbird Farms for its proximity to campus—a seven-minute bus ride to the center of campus, safe environment, and for the fact that it is located in the same school district as Purdue Village, so residents and their school-aged children didn’t have to worry about switching to a different school.
In addition to subsidizing the units, the University has invested in other amenities typically provided near campus housing, such as additional street lighting and emergency phones.
Fasih ur Rehman, a first-year master’s student in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, moved from Purdue Village to Blackbird Farms with his wife and a son.
Fasih ur Rehman, first-year master’s student in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, along with his wife and a son, had been living in Purdue Village for about six months when they got the notice that they had to move. They relocated to Blackbird Farms and are satisfied with the outcome, but the experience wasn’t entirely painless.
Fasih had chosen Purdue Village because it came recommended by a friend and had ties to Purdue, making it less of an uncertain venture for the international student who at the time was new to the US.
“University residence (Purdue Village) was one of the reasons I selected Purdue University out of many universities in the US. I found Purdue Village community to be friendly and accommodative. Any facility provided by the University is not only secure, but also very systematic,” he said, referring to the ease of on-campus housing managed by University Residences.
“As a resident of the US, you know the system well. You know the psychology of the people, you know where to go and whom to ask when you have questions,” he said.
For international students, especially those who are brand new to the country, navigating a move, a new lease*, and a landlord is stressful enough, but there is also the matter of keeping up with graduate school and for some, the responsibility of a family.
Fasih said that for international graduate students who are married and accompanied by families, “moving out, shifting, adds more anxiety and concerns.”
University Residences and Blackbird Farms have gone to great lengths to make the transition as smooth as possible for former Purdue Village graduate student residents.
Fasih was originally placed in a unit next to the road, which was not an ideal location for his family, so he requested a different unit.
“They responded within hours and put me in another apartment. So, I got what I asked for. In terms of the space, it is better than the previous one,” he said.
Both Meng and Fasih commented on the excellent service provided by the Blackbird Farms staff. “The people out here are pretty nice,” Meng said. “They are very glad to offer help. The staff in the office, whenever I call, they respond pretty quickly and help me figure out everything. I really appreciate them.”
Meng had a lot of positive remarks for the overall ambiance: “The apartment is very spacious compared to Purdue Village. Also, the environment is pretty cool! I like the lake, and it’s quieter. Also, it has the exercise room. I like it here very much. I highly recommend Blackbird Farms.”
Fasih noted that most of the family’s neighbors are also Purdue students, and there is a similar friendly community ambiance to the one he experienced at Purdue Village.
The demolition of Purdue Village will make way for further development of the Discovery Park District.
*Students with questions about legal matters, such as lease agreements, may consult with the Office of the Dean of Students Student Legal Services for guidance.
Source: Linda Mason, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Korina Wilbert, email@example.com
October 04, 2021