Photo by Tiffany Robinson

Recent dorm construction on campus forced 40 UWG students to temporarily live in hotels at the beginning of this semester. Over the summer, Boykin and Downs hall were demolished and Bowdon Hall was completely gutted for remodeling. This resulted in 40 students being notified approximately one month before school began that they would be staying at the Hampton or Holiday Inn until Residence Life could find space for them in the dorms and suites on campus.

“We wanted all of our students on campus for the new semester,” said Stephanie Carter-Smith, associate director of Residence Life. “It was just an issue of making space due to the construction.”

Some students were able to obtain help from family and friends during move-in weekend to get settled into the hotels. For students who were without family and friends to help them move, Residence Life sent a member of the housing staff and a 15-passenger van to the hotels to help ensure they were comfortably settled into their temporary living arrangements.

Residence Life also provided a shuttle bus every day from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. to shuttle students to their classes throughout their first week. Most students were placed in hotel rooms with a roommate; however, some did have a room of their own.

“The hotels accommodated the students according to what they had available at the time,” said Carter-Smith.

Terrell Johns was a student living in the Hampton Inn from Sunday, Aug. 19, until Wednesday, Aug. 22. Prior to the semester, Johns had planned to stay in Strozier Hall until he was informed of the lack of space in the dorms.

“I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed the comfortable beds and free breakfast,” said Johns. “Really, the only bad thing about the experience was being unsure about the transportation, because I don’t have a car, but after I spoke with [Carter-Smith], she cleared everything up.”

Residence Life was happy to report to the students that they would all be moved into the dorms by Aug. 24. Some students went home for the weekend, so Residence Life was not able to move the last of the 40 students out of the hotels until Aug. 26. They were very active in making sure all of the students had a smooth moving transition from the hotels to the dorms.

“I personally drove the shuttle all day Friday to help move some students comfortably into their dorms,” said Carter-Smith.

The only remaining issue that Johns and some of the other students have is that they were charged a different rate from what they were told when they moved in during move-in weekend. “Personally it was not a big issue for me because I had extra money saved, but one of my friends got charged an extra $500 that he was not told about,” said Johns.

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