New Orleans Universities book hotels for students to socially distance during upcoming school year

Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 9:55 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - As local universities plan for the upcoming school year, some will be contracting with hotels for additional student housing.

Loyola University President Tania Tetlow says most students live off campus, but they have more than a thousand students in resident halls.

"We initially asked for upperclass and graduate students who opt into residence halls to move out so we could spread out and have a little less density," Tetlow said.

She says some students will be housed at the Alder Hotel.

"We have been negotiating with a hotel nearby. At first, for more rooms, and now, we're realizing we need fewer, but we still are sending students their way to live there in a more long term fashion," Tetlow said.

A senior student at Loyola says she wasn't offered campus housing initially.

"I had emailed them telling them how I thought it was a little bit unfair that I was a second semester senior and they kind of just didn't really care where we were at or what we were doing, and then it was that point that they offered me housing, but I had already accepted housing elsewhere. So I'll be staying off-campus," Rivera said.

Xavier University Vice President of Student Affairs Curtis Wright said they contracted a tower with Hilton Riverside for students, and 200 beds at UNO.

"One of things that we did to be able to ensure student safety was require that no student had a roommate, and so by creating a single occupancy, we needed to get more rooms for our students," Wright said.

He said they will be taking 680 rooms, and students will take a shuttle to and from campus.

Wright says those at the hotel will be paying the same price as living on campus, and the university will absorb the additional fees.

"Our priority for on campus living are first time first year freshmen. So, those students who are brand new to university, we are prioritizing them to be on campus," Wright said.

While local universities are offering a hybrid model, offering some classes in person and others online, some out of state students say they would prefer to have all their courses virtual.

“If it wasn’t for the lab, I honestly probably wouldn’t have gone back,” Rivera said.

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