As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on society, universities are being put in a precarious situation. On one hand they want to reopen and avoid losing massive amounts of revenue. However, the bigger question is how they can reopen while maintaining safe standards. One solution that adequately handles the issue of overpopulation and crowding of the dorms is the introduction of hotel rooms as an option for students.
Hotel rooms are the ideal location for students to be housed as they are more sanitary and closed off than traditional dorm buildings. Individuals living in hotels will not have to go through the process of sharing a bathroom or cramming three people into a single person room. Overall, dorms are a safe alternative to student housing. This is also not the first-time universities have had to rely on hotels. In the past when universities over enrolled, hotels bore the cost and housed the excess students. The coronavirus pandemic is putting more pressure on hotels, but most believe they will adequately handle the situation.
A few colleges have opted to house some of their students in hotels for the fall. This includes Xavier and University of Pittsburgh. Both of these schools are aiming to only have single bedroom rooms for students at the university, maintaining that doubles significantly increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.
There are a few concerns that have been raised as the plans reach fruition. For one, there is the matter of other guests in the hotel. Some schools have not rented out the entire facility meaning traveling guests and students will be occupying the same hotel. This could present an issue if the COVID-19 guidelines given from the university differ from hotel policy. Though most hotels have maintained that there will likely be little interaction between guests and students due to the organizational layout plans hotels have implemented.
This school year is set to be incredibly different from any year previously experienced. Students will have to step up and adhere to school guidelines in order to protect both themselves and communities. Some have called for harsher guidelines to be implemented on college campuses. Others believe colleges should not be returning at all. Regardless of personal convictions, the coming year has the potential to go well or set America even further back in its fight against the pandemic. Only time will tell.