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First-year students overflow into hotels

Not all first-year college students at TWU who have paid to live in dorms have spent their first weeks in residence halls, instead they have been housed in nearby hotels.

TWU originally placed 147 first-year students in four Denton hotels: The Best Western, The Fairfield Inn, The Springhill Apartments and The Holiday Inn Express.

Director of University Housing and Residence Life Jill Eckardt said: “At this point we are no longer housing students in The Best Western and we’re in the process of closing our relationship with the Holiday Inn Express and have less than thirty students living there. So at this point we have right around a hundred students who are in hotels.”

The University has provided transportation for students to get to and from campus and the hotels by shuttles and bus passes.  Students may also enjoy amenities provided by the hotels such as free breakfasts and maid service. However many first-year students looked forward to the experience of living in a dorm their first year of college.

First-year Fashion Design student Lela Woods who lives in the Springhill Apartments said: “At first I was like ‘This is okay.’ But afterwards I felt disconnected from the campus. Having to go back and forth and being on a time limit, it was like, you either stay in your room or be stuck on campus.”

Woods and other students living in hotels pay the same amount as students living on campus in residence halls, although they do not have the same convenient access to everything student living on campus do. Woods explains that while living in the hotels has its perks she doesn’t always find it enjoyable.

Woods stated: “I wish we could have [shuttles] on the weekends too. We also have to pay a dollar to use the washing machines at the hotel.”

While the university tries to quickly move students out of hotels and into resident halls some students may not live in residence halls until the spring semester.

Eckardt said:    “Unfortunately, I do believe there are going to be some students that are going to spend all of fall semester in the hotel. I think our goal is to close the Holiday Inn Express, The Fairfield Inn and that those students who are in Spring Hill Apartments would be the ones that may have to stay all semester.”

Eckardt explains her confidence that all students will be moved out of hotels by the beginning of the spring semester.

Eckardt said: “We always lose more students in December, at the end of the fall semester, then we have new students joining us in the spring. And so we would plan on all students who are in the hotels to move into residence halls in December.”

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