University of Colorado students Hannah Pike and Becky Miller experienced a lot of firsts Monday as they moved into their house just south of Boulder's University Hill.

The roommates met face to face for the first time Monday morning. They received the key to their first rental property Monday afternoon, before seeing their new house for the first time.

While they were excited for all of the new experiences, the pair said they were also relieved to have some guidance at an orientation Monday morning geared at helping students adjust to living off-campus.

Starting last year, Boulder FourStar Realty has required at least one tenant from each of their properties on the Hill and the Goss-Grove area, on the northeast side of campus, to attend an off-campus orientation.

The property management company teamed up with CU's Off-Campus Housing and Neighborhood Relations and the University Hill Neighborhood Association to educate students about being a good neighbor and the must-knows of living off campus, said Caldwell Sullivan, co-owner of FourStar Realty.

As freshmen, students are inundated with orientations and information about living in the dorms and attending CU, but they are not given the same information when they move off-campus and into the Boulder community, Sullivan said.

The hour-long orientation included tips for being a good neighbor (by Hill resident Callie Weiant), an overview of city ordinances and potential violations and details from FourStar about move-in.

Sullivan said the session is an overview of the university's Community Living class, which students are often required to take as part of their punishment for breaking city violations.

The sessions begin about a month before classes start and students are required to attend before receiving the keys to their new place, Sullivan said.

"Right before we hand them the keys, we saw that we had this one last moment of leverage," Sullivan said.
Annie Coyle, right, chats with her roommate Addie Bortz during an off-campus student housing orientation hosted by FourStar Realty and Property Management
Annie Coyle, right, chats with her roommate Addie Bortz during an off-campus student housing orientation hosted by FourStar Realty and Property Management and the University of Colorado Student Affairs Department in the University Memorial Center on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012. The two roommates are CU sophomores. (Photo by Paul Aiken /Colorado Daily)
"It seemed like we were missing an opportunity to bring in more education about community."

Freshman move-in will begin on the CU campus Tuesday through Thursday.

Michelle Willett, of CU's Off-Campus Housing and Neighborhood Relations, gave students a run-down of the city ordinances that can rack up expensive fines for new residents who aren't in the know.

Pike said she was not surprised by the information about noise violations but she did not know about the Party Registration program, which gives students a 20-minute window to tame down their party before the cops arrive.

The roommates agreed that the orientation was a good reminder about maintaining the exterior of a property, too -- something neither of the sophomores has had to do in the past.

"Living in the dorms you don't have to think about things like mowing or shoveling snow," Pike said.

Sullivan said he hopes the orientations help ease students into their new properties and create better neighbors in Boulder's residential areas.