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Students could live at hotel

Students wanting to live on campus next year have learned that there might not be enough spots available for them, but that they do have another option: to live in a hotel.

Friday, Residential Life announced that, on top of Colony, its other off-campus housing option, it will offer an option for students to live 12 miles from campus in Days Hotel in Mission Valley.

“All along as we’ve kind of seen this increase in the demand on housing we’ve been trying to find alternatives for people just to give them something,” Dean of Students Jeff Bolster said.

When students register for rooms from April 7-18, there is a possibility they could log onto the portal and find there aren’t any on-campus rooms left. So, their options will be: volunteer to live at the Days Hotel, opt to live off-campus or be put on the on-campus wait list.

Residential Life is anticipating that all beds on campus and in Colony, PLNU’s other off-campus housing option, will be filled up. All students who have requested to live off-campus have already been approved.

Bolster equates the increased number of students wanting to live on campus to students’ desire to be involved with campus life and the difficulty of finding affordable housing in the area. He said he could not comment on the university’s move to increase enrollment in recent years that could have led to the overflow for campus housing.

“It’s pretty much simple numbers,” said Bolster. “The last two freshman classes…were a little bit larger than what we had been used to but over the last few years…we’re seeing more and more people wanting to live on campus. And it’s a great problem to have. I love it and I know it’s convenient and I know people are just enjoying the campus experience more and so this is the first year where we’ve tipped over where the demand kind of far exceeded our ability to supply it.”

Residents of the Days Hotel will be able to buy a meal plan just as the residents of the Colony apartments can, but it will not be required. The hotel rooms do not have kitchens.

“The same amount of beds are available to everybody,” said Bolster. “As a matter of fact, we increased the number of beds available to guys in Flex. We increased it by 3 apartments this year. So it’s really important that people wrap their head around that we’ve not decreased availability to juniors and seniors. That’s still the same.”

Molly Peterson, assistant director of student housing could not be reached for comment.

PLNU partnered with Bartell Hotels to arrange for 50 rooms (two students per room) to be available, depending on the number of students who choose this option. Students will receive all the amenities of the hotel, including free wifi, TV, a refrigerator, microwave, a heated pool and cleaning services for the bathrooms.

Bolster said the number of resident directors and resident assistants will be determined by the number of students who sign up to live there.

“All conditions of the Student Handbook will apply to students who reside at Days Hotel,” said Peterson in an email to students on April 4 outlining the housing selection process. “The cost to live at the Days Hotel is the same as living in our Colony Apartments (room charge only) and can be covered by financial aid.”

Bolster said no one will be assigned to live at Days Hotel unless they volunteer to.

“I just really want the students to know we’re trying to do everything we can so that they’ve got a positive experience next year,” Bolster said.