Living in Bloomington


Questions

Q. How do I sign up for electricity, telephone, gas, cable? 
Q. What should I do about housing? 
Q. How do I find roommates, rooms, houses? 
Q. What time zone are we in? 
Q. What is the dividing line for North, South, East and West in the street names? 
Q. How do I look for employment for my spouse/partner?
Q. IU Driver's license, voter registration, car registration. 
Q. What taxes do I pay in Indiana and in Bloomington? 
Q. What activities are there in Bloomington? 
Q. Where do I find cheap furniture/appliances? 
Q. Where is the Credit Union? 
Q. Can my spouse/partner get access to the library or rec center? 
Q. Is there a shuttle service to the Indianapolis Airport?


Answers

Q. How do I sign up for electricity, telephone, gas, cable?

A. To sign up for services, call: 

Electricity: Psi Energy, 800-521-2232 

Telephone: Ameritech, 800-331-5454 

Gas: Indiana Gas, 800-777-2060 
Note that Indiana Gas no longer checks your pilot lights or connections. Contact your landlord to have them check and light all pilot lights when the gas is switched on. 

Utilities: City of Bloomington Utilities, 1969 South Henderson, 339-1444 
This includes water, waste water, and basic trash service.  Trash pickup is interesting in Bloomington. Every can or bag placed on curbside must have a trash sticker attached. Stickers cost $1, and are available at local grocery store. Recycling is free, but paper, plastic, glass & cans must be separated. Lawn refuse stickers are $.25 

Cable: Insight Communications, 1121 W 2nd, 332-9486

Q. What should I do about housing?

A. Housing can go quickly in Bloomington. It pays to visit and find a place shortly after you decide to attend the program here. 

On the other hand, don't panic if you can't visit. You will find a roof for your head. Try to network with the grad students that you know here and ask them to help you! They will — they know how it is!

Indiana University has graduate student housing, family housing, and has a separate unit for rental of houses that are on IU property. For campus housing, contact Residential Programs and Services, 801 N. Jordan, Bloomington, IN 47405, (812) 855-5601. Housing goes quickly, so get your reservation for campus housing in as early as possible. Sending in the application does not bind you–you can change your mind before you commit to a room or apartment. See http://www.rps.indiana.edu/ for more information.

For IU rentals, call 855-3054. Note that Bloomington has no statute mandating that rentals come with stoves or refrigerators, so you may have to negotiate with the current tenants to purchase appliances, or purchase new or used appliances.

Rents are more expensive the closer you get to campus. House rentals are significantly cheaper on the outskirts of town, or in one of the surrounding communities such as Ellettsville. Traffic between Bloomington and Ellettsville can be busy during morning and late afternoons (it adds maybe ten minutes to your commute).

For summer sublets, you might also post a message to the newsgroup iu.classified. The IDS (Indiana Daily Student) also puts out a summer sublet guide/classifieds.

Q. How do I find roommates, rooms, houses?

A. IU has a newsgroup specifically for classifieds, iu.classified, to which you can post your housing needs. IDS, the Indiana Daily Student newspaper also runs ads (you can check them online at http://www.idsnews.com/), as does Hoosier Times (see http://www.hoosiertimes.com/). Also, see the Graduate & Professional Student Organization's site at http://http://www.indiana.edu/~gpso/. Other online classifieds exist around the IU community, such as iupost.com.

Q. What time zone are we in?

A. Indiana recently joined the rest of the country in observing daylight savings. Bloomington, and most of Indiana, is now part of the Eastern Time Zone.

Q. What is the dividing line for North, South, East and West in the street names? 

A. The North/South dividing line in Bloomington is 5th Avenue (Kirkwood). The East/West dividing line is Walnut. 

Q. How do I look for employment for my spouse/partner?

A. IU has an employment home page at http://www.indiana.edu/~hrm/employment/index.html. The State of Indiana also has an employment service, the Department of Workforce Development, 2511 W 3rd Street, 331-6000. Indianapolis is one hour's drive north of here, and has many more employment opportunities. Get a Sunday copy of the Indianapolis Star for listings. 

Q. IU Driver's license, voter registration, car registration.

A. You may obtain an Indiana driver's license, register to vote, and register your car all in the same location. The License Branch is at 118 South Rogers, 336-3018. There is no auto inspection required in Indiana. You must register your car within 60 days of your residency here. They are pretty darn serious about you getting your car registered.

Q. What taxes do I pay in Indiana and in Bloomington?

A. Tax forms for federal, state, and local income taxes are available at the Monroe County Library on Kirkwood Avenue. Although taxes are automatically deducted if you are on an assistantship, they are not if you are on a fellowship. If you're on a fellowship pay in installments so you don't get charged a late fee. Lana Fish in the Psychology main office has fellowship information. 

Q. What activities are there in Bloomington?

A. Get a guide from the Visitors Center, 2855 N Walnut, 334-8900. HoosierNet has information on local events at http://www.bloomington.in.us/. The Bloomington Voice, a free alternative weekly publication, has a complete listing of upcoming events. On Fridays, the Bloomington Herald-Times has a listing of events for the weekend. If you are into rock climbing, canoeing, backpacking, or hiking, JL Waters (a store downtown) and the IU Outfitters (in the IMU) are good resources. 

As you may know, IU has a world-renowned music school which offers a variety of performances at little or no cost to students. About six operas are performed each season at the Musical Arts Center (MAC; this is the large, sort of strange-looking building on Jordan, with a metal sculpture out front). The best deal here is the "Friday Night Mini-Series," which offers students five shows for $40 (it used to be $25 -- ach, inflation!). On these special Fridays, the ticket price includes a lecture or tour before the performance. Seating is by general admission; since you're there early for the tour anyway, you can nab the best seats in the house! For more information or for tickets, call the MAC Box Office at 855-7433 or stop by (they open at noon). 

In addition to opera, the music school holds recitals, jazz concerts, etc., most of which are absolutely free. Pick up a copy of the brochure "Prelude," which has a full listing of events. For additional information, call the 24-hour concert information line Musicall (855-2255) or the Office of Publicity (855-9846). Notices are posted in the music school as well (as a study break, this is a fun place to wander around in and enjoy the sounds). Have fun and enjoy the music! 

Further, the IU Auditorium brings nationally travelling shows to Bloomington at reduced rates for students. You'll be bombarded with information about these shows when you register... for more information you can stop by the Auditorium box office. 

Q. Where do I find cheap furniture/appliances?


A. Check the newsgroup iu.classified. Also, the Bloomington Herald-Times and the Bloomington Voice also often have classifieds selling furniture/appliances. For cheap furniture look at the Salvation Army Red Shield Store, 115 N Rogers, 334-1366. There are also a number of used furniture stores. Be sure to ask moving students. 

Q. Where is the Credit Union? 

A. The Indiana University Credit Union has several branches around Bloomington and the state. In town, there are branches: 105 East Winslow Road, 3289 West 3rd Street (Whitehall Plaza), 2630 East 3rd Street (Eastland Plaza) . The closest is on the corner of 17th street and Indiana. The closest IUCU ATM is in the basement of the main Library on Jordan & 10th. They offer on- line bill paying and banking, and a great VISA debit card. Also, talk with Kathy Christman about direct deposit. It and ATM card that can also be used like a VISA, with no additional charges. See http://www.iucu.org/ for more information, or call 855-2585. 

Q. Can my spouse/partner get access to the library or rec center?

A. As an Indiana resident a spouse can get access to the IU libraries. S/he can also get access to HPER for a reasonable fee. 

Q. Is there a shuttle service to the Indianapolis Airport?

A. Bloomington Shuttle Service (332-6004) runs shuttles 7 days a week from 4:50am to 8:00pm from Bloomington to Indianapolis Airport (and back).  The shuttle runs every two hours, and stops at the Marriott downtown, the Indiana Memorial Union, Hampton Inn, and Holiday Inn in that order.  The trip takes about 1 1/2 hours, and costs around $17 one way.  Call to confirm the time and place of pickup.