For the past several weeks, the ongoing construction at Brooks Crossing has forced its residents into Staybridge Suites and the Radisson Hotel Rochester downtown, giving them a rougher-than-usual start to the school year.

Senior Clint Cantwell, a Brooks Crossing resident currently living at the Radisson, initially expected to spend only five or six days living out of a hotel room.

“I was moving in early because I’m a peer adviser. When they first sent out the email, they hinted that the building might be done by [August] 29, which is normal move-in day,” he said. Cantwell has now been living in the Radisson for nearly a month.

Senior Rebecca Bergman, who moved in on August 9, has been at Staybridge for nearly six weeks. “The location is really similar to Brooks, so that’s not an inconvenience,” she explained. “Getting ready in the morning, things like that, it’s very much the same. Where it’s different is I can’t really invite people to hang out in my room. It’s not conducive to social gatherings.”

While Bergman notes that there are certain upsides to staying in a hotel – such as the comfy beds – she recognizes that for her roommate and others living at the Radisson, the location problem is “way more inconvenient.”

Nahoma Presberg, a senior who shares her hotel room at the Radisson with Cantwell, said that getting back and forth from the Radisson “requires waking up ridiculously early.”

“We usually take the bus an hour before we have to be anywhere because it can be unreliable,” she said.

Presberg noted, “It’s been really hard to get into a routine academically. I still don’t really feel like the school year’s started.” She explained that with one desk and one chair between her and her roommate, they “never get any work done.”

“The Wi-Fi at the hotel barely works. I just use data on my phone sometimes. I don’t take my computer out. I don’t ever assume that I’m going to do homework [at the hotel],” she said.

Cantwell added, “It’s just not a conducive environment for being a student, especially a busy one at the U of R.” He continued,  “I don’t have a space that I feel is mine and it’s not necessarily what you’d expect when you’re coming back to school, especially for me, because I think of the U of R like my home.”

“Luckily,” he said, “after emailing Laurel [Contomanolis],” the executive director of the Office of Residential Life, “I figured out that I could stay with my friend, which made it a lot easier.”

As for the daily meal stipend of $15 for those at the Radisson, Cantwell and Presberg observed that the cost of food in the area around the hotel is extremely expensive.

“It doesn’t do much,” Cantwell observed of the stipend. “I know my friend is nearly out of her declining and I’m down $400 already. It’s making the rest of the semester look like it’s going to be a stressful one in finding money for food.”

A recent email from the Office of Residential Life stated that it was processing the request for an additional meal stipend. It also told Brooks Crossing residents that their move-in dates would be delayed yet again, which felt like “the last straw” to Presberg.

“At the end of the summer, they were like, maybe it’ll be on the 29th,” she said “If not, it’ll just be a couple of days. Then they said it’s going to be about a week. And then they said it’s going to be a couple of weeks. And then they said next weekend, and now they’re saying next weekend again.”

“If they had just told us that it was going to be a while, it would have been a lot easier to handle,” she continued. “We were supposed to get our move-in times last Thursday for this past weekend, but at 11pm on Wednesday night, they sent us an email that was just like, ‘Nope. Just kidding.’”

Although students feel that the University’s communication could use improvement, Bergman, Cantwell, and Presberg agree that the school is not to blame for the delays in construction.

“I understand that the University did their best,” Presberg said.

All three students are doing what they can to make the best of the situation and continue to look forward to their eventual housing. “I think that Brooks Crossing is the best possible living situation on campus,” said Bergman. “I’m really excited to have my own room, my own bathroom, and to live with my suitemate. It’s going to be a great senior year.”

Lai is a member of the class of 2018.



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