This year marks the third year in a row that Texas Woman's University in Denton will contract with a local Holiday Inn to provide housing for students. More than 100 students will be assigned to the off campus hotel that has been haphazardly labeled as campus housing.
"Students who have not completed 60 credit hours are required to live on campus," says TWU spokesperson Amanda Simpson. "So that's considered most freshman and sophomores. So basically there are more students than beds. Some students are in triple rooms. There are approximately 164 students that have been assigned to overflow housing, 114 of which are assigned to the Holiday Inn."
The university charges students the same amount for Holiday Inn housing as for campus dorm housing -- no word on whether that price includes maid service and continental breakfasts. The university offers shuttle services to and from campus, and TWU police monitor the property.
"We are seeing the residence halls over capacity because of the general increase in students attending TWU," Monica Mendez-Grant, TWU's interim vice president for student life, writes in an e-mail. "In addition, the returning student to TWU is seeking housing options at TWU resulting in increased retention rates."
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The last time hotel housing was used, less than half of the students assigned to the hotel accepted the offer, with most opting for off campus housing or to commute. The university will house two people per room at the hotel, in non-smoking double bed suites.
Jill Young is a front desk receptionist at the Holiday Inn, which will continue to accept regular hotel guests. She is a student at UNT, and lives in on campus housing. "That would make me so upset. I don't know if I'd be fine with that," she says. "But I don't feel like we'll have any problems with the students."
Some students blame TWU's famously high acceptance rates for the problem. "It irritates me because I feel their enrollment requirements aren't as strict as they could be. I feel like if they made academic success a priority, I think that would help the dorm situation," says Christy Vilmont, a TWU student who lives off campus.
"I would be angry if I were them. They're forcing you to live on campus, and then you can't even live on campus," she says. "They make those kids stay on campus because they think it will help build this routine for them, and encourage success, but putting them outside that situation -- it just feels pointless for me."