Hotel room becomes home for 130 college students

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Tabea Tuck is a Sophomore at Alabama State University.  And her dorm room is a hotel room at the Madison Hotel downtown.

"It's great to me. It's way better than staying on campus. As long as you have transportation, it's fine," says Tuck.

Thomika Kilgore doesn't agree. She's moving out just days after moving in.

"The Madison is a nice hotel to come visit, but not as a college student...not for your whole semester."

Alabama State University administrators say 130 upperclassman are living at the Madison Hotel. That's because this year's incoming freshman class is larger.  And since freshman are required to live on campus, Danielle Kennedy-Lamar with ASU says officials had to find alternative accommodations for students.

She says ASU wanted to give every student the chance to live in university housing even if it meant placing them off campus.

Right now, a shuttle takes students to and from the university and the hotel.

It's a problem administrators expect to remedy next year with the addition of a 500-student residence hall currently under construction.

"We're trying to make this as close to an experience on campus as we possibly can," says Kennedy-Lamar.

Some students say living off campus is an inconvenience while others see it as a breath of fresh air.

"Me being an upperclassman, I prefer staying in the hotel so I don't have to deal with the freshman chaos on campus," says Senior, Marcy Anderson.

Administrators say students pay the same amount to live at the hotel as they do on campus which is creating mixed feelings about whether it's worth the price.

"I wanted to move immediately," adds Kilgore.

"It's more freedom...a college student's dream," says Tuck.

For students at the hotel, the only difference is the location.  There are resident advisors there and an ASU security guard.

Hotel managers and ASU officials are also changing policies to allow students access to the business center, fitness room and hotel pool.

Neither Faulkner University nor Huntingdon College have had to place students in off campus housing.

ASU administrators say they've done it three times in the past ten years.

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