Crowne Plaza residents issued permanent housing
Students are no longer living in the Somerset-Bridgewater Crowne Plaza Hotel, said Executive Director of Residence Life Joan Carbone.
As per a serious housing shortage in August, students were housed in the hotel during the fall semester.
"[Crowne Plaza] was the only hotel that had a large number of rooms to offer use when we started looking in August of last year … over the semester students were moved as we received spaces from cancellations," she said.
Typically, on-campus students are not permitted to cancel their housing contracts, which are for a full school year. But because of the lack of housing space, on-campus students were allowed to cancel and make room for the Crowne Plaza students, Carbone said.
"By the end of the semester, people wanted to be there. They warmed up to the hotel and overall, I think everyone enjoyed it," said resident adviser at the hotel Claire Santoro, a Rutgers College junior.
Crowne Plaza management was unavailable for comment at press time.
But hotel students were all placed in on-campus housing as of the first day of the spring semester, Carbone said.
Over the past few years, students have had to sleep in residence hall lounges as result of the overcrowding issues facing the University.
"It's a combination of more students enrolled and larger percentages of students choosing housing," she said.
As of Feb. 2, she said there were approximately 300 more housing registrations received for the lottery than there is room for in residence halls.
Registration for the lottery ended Jan. 28, according to the housing Web site. Although students are not required to sign a housing contract if they have registered for a lottery number, once they accept a room and sign, the contract is binding.
Carbone said students would probably end up in a hotel next year.
"We will be offering students who do not qualify for housing through the lottery some spaces in hotels," she said.
A mix of transfer and continuing students will mostly be placed in a hotel, like last semester.
Carbone said no hotel, including Crowne Plaza, has been contracted for the next school year.
"There is no final decision on this yet, but the Crowne Plaza is one of the hotels in consideration," she said.
Carbone said the remedy for overcrowding over the next few years would be using hotels.
"We hope to open 2,000 [residential dorm rooms] in the fall of 2011 but that is still in the approval process," she said.
Santoro said although she enjoys living on campus, if the opportunity arose to be a residence adviser in a hotel again, she would consider the move.
"You got used to it. I used to live on Busch and all my classes were on College Avenue, so taking a bus wasn't something that was so foreign to me," she said. "Besides the commute, everything was pretty comfortable."
Applications for on-campus housing will continue until the end of March, according to the Web site.