EDMOND — The University of Central Oklahoma has some new faces on its campus this summer, and they don’t belong to UCO students.
For the first time, the university has opened its residence hall doors to interns working in the metro area.
The housing expenses are paid in full by the interns’ employers.
“We’re college students, so we don’t have a lot of money,” said Tanner Bowen, 19, an Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation intern from Weleetka.
The interns stay at the University Commons apartments on campus.
“It’s a lot better than I expected,” Bowen said. “I was expecting a dorm room.”
The apartments are fully furnished, have a kitchen, washers and dryers, free WiFi and cable.
“We thought that it would be a good way for us to build some relationships with local companies and at the same time maybe attract some students from out of state that maybe hadn’t seen our campus in the past,” said Jose Rodriguez, UCO sales and marketing coordinator.
They’ve had a better-than-expected turnout.
“When we first started talking about what we thought would be a good target number this summer, we were thinking about 15 to 20 residents,” Rodriguez said.
There are about 63 nonstudent residents.
Bowen enjoys the social aspect.
“When I’m at work, I’m in my own lab and don’t really get to interact with the other interns,” Bowen said. “It’s been really nice to really get to know the other Fleming scholars and hang out with them.”