BU offers Hyatt rooms for housing selection

Boston University is offering students the option to live in the Hyatt Regency hotel in Cambridge for the fall 2007 semester, in an effort to allow all incoming freshmen to live on campus, according to an email sent to students yesterday from Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore.

For past fall semesters since 2002, freshmen and transfer students have been housed in the Hyatt and other nearby local hotels because of an overflow of housing requests. In his email, Elmore stressed the importance of ensuring freshmen live in on campus so they can adjust more easily to college life.

“Freshmen living within a campus residence, instead of a hotel, receive residential stability during a time when it is crucial to develop connections within the university community,” he said in the email. “We cannot underestimate the role of physical proximity during a student’s first year at the university.”

The option would give interested sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to live in the Hyatt for one semester in a double room with a private bathroom and air conditioning. Hyatt students would also be able to use hotel services at discounted prices and have access to the health club, swimming pool and housekeeping service twice a week.

Students who choose to live in the Hyatt will also have first choice in their class for community room selection when they move on campus for the spring 2008 semester, Elmore said in the email.

Although this is the first year the Hyatt option is being offered for upperclassmen, it has been discussed as an option and was offered to students requesting room swaps in previous years, said BU spokesman Colin Riley.

“We review these things on a yearly basis,” Riley said. “This is something that President [Robert] Brown was looking at making happen.”

While Riley said not too many students have chosen to room swap into the Hyatt, he said he hopes students will take advantage of the new opportunity. The Hyatt option will also be offered to students who have moved off campus and want to move back on campus and also to students who are returning to BU from a leave of absence, Riley said.

College of General Studies freshman Marlene Riquelme said her experience in the Hyatt last semester was “miserable” but said although she felt secluded from the BU community, the Hyatt could be a better option for upperclassmen.

“I felt that I was going to school and then going home, that I wasn’t having the real college experience,” she said. “I think that upperclassmen would choose to live there. The amenities of the hotel outweigh the distance, especially when you have your set group of friends.”

CGS freshman Josh Pomeranz, who said he is considering the Hyatt option for housing next semester, said his decision is riding on his strong desire not to “get stuck in the dorms again.”

“I chose the dorms when I was applying here because I wanted to make connections,” he said. “I know people who lived in the Hyatt who enjoyed it. They had room service. It’s a really nice deal . . . that’s what I am trying to do.”

CGS freshman Arielle Bear, who lived in the Hyatt last semester, agreed with Elmore’s statement that living in the Charles River campus is better for freshmen because the Hyatt is not as social as many dormitories.

“When I moved second semester, I realized how much I had missed out on,” she said. “The dorm experience of freshman year really solidifies the connections you make your first year here. It’s harder to do that when you live in the Hyatt.

“If I could get my friends to come with me, I would go back to the Hyatt in a heartbeat,” she continued.

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