U. projects no hotels next year
University officials confirmed that no students will be residing in hotels next year because fewer students have requested and accepted on-campus housing.
Ten thousand students went through the lottery process for all units this year, compared to 10,600 in 2009 and 10,300 in 2008. But only 8,000 students have accepted housing assignments for the 2010-2011 academic year, said Executive Director of Residence Life Joan Carbone.
"Many students, who applied for [a suite or apartment] and didn't get them, did not go forward and apply for doubles," Carbone said. "So we were able to offer everybody who went through the lottery some kind of space."
Vice President for Student Affairs Gregory S. Blimling said the University has arrangements in place with the Crowne Plaza Hotel in case additional housing is needed.
But Carbone said the agreement with the hotel will not be needed.
"We will not be having hotels next year, which I am thrilled about," she said. "It's very hard to run a hotel that's four miles from the campus."
Blimling said the University might have a decrease in students choosing to live on campus because of financial reasons.
From 2008-2009 to 2009-2010, housing costs went up 5 percent, Carbone said.
"But housing costs for 2010-2011 have not yet been determined," she said.
Due to housing shortages in 2008 and 2009, the University displaced nearly 500 students to nearby hotels.
This housing shortage continued because 10,000 students were trying to sign in to 8,000 rooms, Blimling said in February.
Nearly 500 students permanently reside at the Crowne Plaza Hotel this year, Blimling said.
But in the 2008-2009 academic year, all students were moved back to campus by February 2009 as space became available, Carbone said last semester. This was made possible because the University allowed students to cancel their housing contracts without penalty.
To offset a future housing shortage, the University is in the process of constructing new residence halls.
Five hundred beds are going to be built on Busch campus, and apartment spaces for 1,500 students will be built on Livingston campus, both of which should open by the fall of 2012, Blimling said last semester.
Carbone said the University predicts that by 2012, the housing needs of students will be met.
"If we're short, it will be by very little, and we should be able to have a waiting list and be able to fill those spaces as we go," she said.
Sam Firmin, Residence Hall Association president, said the hotel was a good supplement to the University's housing shortage but only until the new housing projects are complete.
"Having students in the hotel is a nontraditional approach to solving the problem of us having the lack of spaces for students to be at Rutgers, to live on campus," said Firmin, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences sophomore. "But at the same time, I think it was really our only option until we build these new residence halls on Busch campus and Livingston campus."
Firmin said he has seen the hotel and has friends that reside there.
"They love it. They love living there," he said. "I have heard of people that don't find it satisfactory to live there, but the majority of students really enjoy living at the hotel."
The 500 students living in the Crowne Plaza Hotel this year had amenities that included a large room, private bath, a large color TV, an indoor swimming pool, a gymnasium and a sports bar.
Many students, like School of Arts and Sciences junior Christine Cemelli, enjoy the hotel-style of living.
"The hotel was really great. I mean, it's far, but we have a pool and a gym, and we get maid service once a week. It's far but you get used to it," she said. "I definitely think students are missing out just because it's a hotel — it's a lot better than dorms."