Comfort Inn Not a Big Comfort to ASU Students

August 27, 2007 -- Posted at 4:15 CST

Jonesboro, AR --

Out of the hotels and into the dorms... All ASU students who started out in hotels last week are now on campus.

73 students spent the first week in the Comfort Inn, but some students like Whitney Moore, say it wasn't a comfort at all.

"I liked to stay there, but like I said I wasn't able to get to my classes on time, and I was very unaware of the campus events, because it was the first week of classes."

Patrick Dixon, Director of Residence Life, says for the 73 students to stay in the hotel, it will cost the school almost 15 thousand dollars, money that's not easy to come by.

"You have to understand that the housing budget is an auxiliary, none of that money is tuition money and none of that money is state appropriated, it all comes from the housing budget."

After only a week at the hotel, the University was able to find rooms for all students who need one. Sort of like hotels find vacancies... No shows.

"If we can confirm that a student is not going to attend Arkansas state university than we can replace that student with a student from the hotel."

Dixon says one of the ways they were able to eleviate some of the problem was for some students, like RA's, to make sacrifices.

"Our resident assistants, those are the people who monitor the floors, take care of the halls, and provide social services to the students, they all took roommates this year, and we are glad they did that. They usually get a private room, that's part of the compensation."

But hotel living wasn't all bad.

"It was a different experience, I like having my bed made up and stuff like that, but it was definitely a different experience, I sort of appreciate it in a sense."

The University plans to open more student housing in 2009.

Dixon says Twin Towers, a dorm that has been vacant for over a year now, would cost too much money to renovate. The school would rather invest in something that could be used for years to come instead of fixing problems every year.