The college students forced to live in a New York City hotel

Students say the amenities are nice, lacks community feel

New York University (NYU) is housing about 145 upperclassmen in a $300-per-night hotel for the semester to deal with a dorm shortage, the New York Times reports.

The school promised on-campus housing to all students who want it, but after a major dorm closed for renovations and a spike in upperclassmen interest, NYU ran short by a significant amount of space. As a result, some students call the Affinia Hotel in Midtown home for the semester.

Usually about 45 to 80 students live in hotel rooms for the first few weeks of the year, because by then enough students have left school to open up space in the dorms.  But this year, some students are staying for the full semester.

Private dorms compete with lavish perks

The Affinia rooms feature two double beds, a desk, a coffee maker, a kitchenette, a flat-screen TV, and bi-weekly maid service. The building also has room service, a dry-cleaning service, and a 24-hour gym. The cost is the same as for on-campus suites: $7,942 per semester.

However, students must deal with tourists in the bustling neighborhood and commute to classes and cafeterias in Greenwich Village. They also share floors with typical hotel guests, and some students say it does not feel like a community.

To try and foster a sense of belonging, five resident assistants staff the building, much like they would in a dormitory. They also staff a desk in the lobby each night, just in case a student has a question (Higgins, New York Times, 10/16).

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