By Aliyah Kovner
Campus News Reporter
The University Inn is a far cry from the average college living experience, and the weekly maid service is just the beginning.
Located on Ocean Street, across the bridge from River Street, the Inn is university housing, despite the added luxuries.
UC Santa Cruz has been housing students at the Inn since the early 1990s, said Dave Keller of campus housing.
For slightly cheaper than a standard dorm room double, students can get a classic hotel-room double. Complete with full-size beds flanked by side tables, a pool, a jacuzzi and cable with HBO, the Inn has all the amenities of an overnight hotel stay morphed into dormitory housing.
Second-year Matt Brown said living next to hotel guests creates a strange atmosphere.
“Right now there are some people there, but [it’s not awkward because] usually they’re in bed,” Brown said.
With the larger incoming class sizes, UCSC is relying on this nontraditional setup to ensure housing for transfer students, continuing students and, in the future, possibly even freshmen.
Housing freshmen at University Inn may become necessary, said Ryan Watt, Cowell housing coordinator.
“There’s a higher demand for student housing,” Watt said. “It’s an option we can offer students.”
Though there are currently no UCSC freshmen at the Inn, there is a housing partnership with Cabrillo College, and several of those residents are first-year students, Keller said.
Talk of poor Internet, little supervision and irregular dining hours brings up the question among some residents of whether the facility is truly ready to handle the strain of the crowding that could occur with the larger class sizes being brought in.
Residents are divided over whether living at the Inn is worth it.
“It just feels really weird to live in a hotel,” said Zach Feigenbaum, who applied late to campus housing and accepted the Inn’s offer as a last resort. “It’s not bad to live in — it’s kind of nice. It’s just far away from campus. Overall, you’re looking at almost 40 minutes to get to your class.”
Brown said that a downside to the University Inn is the lack of a social atmosphere.
“They’re pretty much shut-ins,” he said of his fellow students living at the Inn.
Despite the limited social scene, Brown is “not disappointed.”
“I looked into some other places and decided the Inn was the best,” Brown said.
Keller said that many of the students living at the Inn chose it as their preferred housing option.
“Each year the Inn has a sizable population of students who also resided there the previous year,” Keller said. “Some, of course, are assigned to the Inn by their college when the college does not have space to offer them.”
Though the Inn is currently occupied only by second-years and above, the increase in student population may move more students to this off-campus housing option in the future.
“Over time, our utilization of space has grown,” Keller said, “and each academic year, more of the hotel is dedicated to this purpose.”