Hotels not needed to house students

In his first semester at UW-Eau Claire, junior Tim Morris laid claim to something few freshmen could – his own, personal bathroom. This, along with access to a pool and regular cleanings of his bathroom, were among the benefits Morris said he enjoyed while staying at the university-provided hotel accommodations at the Quality Inn, 809 W. Clairemont Ave.

“I really liked the room, specifically the full bedroom to stretch out in,” Morris said. “Overall it was a nice setup.”

This year, though, no UW-Eau Claire students will be enjoying such perks. Chuck Major, director of housing and residence life, said there are no students living in school-provided hotels this semester.

“This year we were able to accommodate everyone,” Major said. “It just happened to work out.”

The number of students who live in hotels off campus varies from year to year, Major said. In the past 12 years, he said, there have been two years when there was no need to provide students with hotel accommodations.

“It goes through a cycle where we have the right amount of students and the right amount of housing,” Major said.

Though he enjoyed his hotel room, Morris said it did have its limitations. Despite the bonuses of living in a hotel room instead of a dorm, Morris lamented the physical and social disconnect his residence created with the campus.

“It was my first semester at UW-Eau Claire and being removed from campus was tough,” Morris said. “The twenty minute walk to class, the small group from which to make friends, the separation from campus … it was all very tough for a freshman.”

Because there is no need to house students in hotels this year, those businesses will have to deal with a loss of revenue.

Melissa Carter, a front desk worker at Quality Inn, said housing students provided a good source of revenue.

“There is going to be a little revenue loss,” she said.

Carter said the amount of money the hotel brought in from housing students usually varied from year to year, though, meaning the loss will not be too damaging.

Morris said while he enjoyed the accommodations the Quality Inn provided, he ended up moving on campus for a more social living experience.

“I moved out of the hotel to reattach myself with what little friends I had made on campus,” he said. “I loved the experience of living at the hotel, but I was glad it was over.”