University Village refugees: it’s not all that bad

It is 8:45 a.m., the sun is blistering, my eyes are tired, but the shuttle to campus is already happily waiting for me at the bus stop. I’m one of the many University Village “refugees,” and my current residence is the Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove.

The Wyndham Grand Bay hotel consists of 177 rooms, and 120 are currently housing UM students. A week before the start date of the lease, the University Village notified hundreds of students that their apartments would not be ready before classes began, and temporary housing would be provided at hotels near campus.

Most students were frustrated, for they had been looking forward to having their own room, a kitchen, an apartment environment very close to campus, and a stable place to live at the start of the school year. Now, students will have to move in during September and October – hopefully not at the same time as any exams!

Though most of my fellow village people were upset with this news, my initial reaction was excitement. For the first couple weeks of school I would be living in a really nice hotel with maid service, receiving free dining dollars, and surrounded by great restaurants within walking distance.

After staying at the Wyndham all this time, I’m still very impressed with all the amenities provided for the UM students, but there are some problems that come with hotel life. The students staying at the Holiday Inn are close to campus, but the Holiday Inn does not provide enough parking for all of the students with cars. Also, the students staying at the Biltmore have to sleep on cots, the students staying at the Marriott have to set aside an hour to get to or from campus, and the students at the Doubletree are sleeping on uncomfortable roll-away beds.

Furthermore, going back to campus to eat at Sbarro or Subway for the 20th time this week in order to use my allotment of dining dollars has become a nuisance – I’m not Jared. But, to give the University Village some credit, delays do happen, especially when dealing with construction companies. To the students staying at hotels and battling multiple hassles, I’m sorry. Still, the University Village has put a lot of money and effort into accommodating close to 800 apartmentless students. Maybe we should cut them some slack.

Karyn Meshbane is a junior majoring in Neuroscience. She may be contacted at