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Life In The Howard Johnson

Photo by Kara Wall/ The Minaret

Photo by Kara Wall

Exactly how are the students in the Howard Johnson Hotel coping with their living situations?  It seems that there are some common factors with the pros and cons of their living arrangements.

A couple students weren’t looking forward to living in the hotel, but in the end have come to love it.

“It is like your own off-campus apartment,” said Eduardo Rivera, a freshman from Puerto Rico.   “It’s not as bad as we thought it would be,” Rivera said.

Other Howard Johnson residents share the same thoughts.

“I think it’s absolutely great!  We get room service, and the maids are mad tight,” said Luis Echavarria, a freshman from New York.

Echavarria expressed his concern towards the way the HoJo students blame the drivers for being late when there are variables like traffic.

“People yell at the shuttle drivers like it’s their fault that they are late,” he said.

Being comfortable with their living situation is something that is important for every college student, and some of the HoJo residents had mixed feelings.

“Not having to share a bathroom with more than one person” is one of the benefits Estafany Salinas enjoys. “On campus two to five people share a bathroom,” she said.

The queen sized beds at the HoJo were a big hit verses the twin XL ones found on campus.

“The rooms are bigger than some of the freshman rooms on campus,” said Bill Ward, a freshman from New Jersey.

HoJo residents love their RAs, uncrowded pools, privacy and spacious rooms. The people at the front desk are extremely helpful, as well.

But what are the downsides to all this? The shuttle is a popular complaint.

Joel Menda, a freshman from Puerto Rico, said he often avoids the shuttle and wakes up 20 minutes earlier to walk to class.

Maurice Goodwin, a freshman from the United States Virgin Islands, isn’t a morning person, so waking up for the shuttle isn’t easy.

Now only 17 people are allowed to be transported at a time. So for students like Goodwin, getting up on time or earlier doesn’t guarantee a spot on the shuttle.

But besides the shuttle controversy, which every student seems to hate, students know they are missing out by living off campus their first semester in college.

“I feel like I’m missing out on a huge part of the freshman experience living in the Howard Johnson,” said freshman Bill Ward.

Some students agree with Ward.

Kyle Tucke, from Boston, expresses his concerns of feeling secluded from the other students on campus.

However, he also feels students from the HoJo have something more.
“The HoJo community is a tight knit family in itself,” Tucke said  “We are all in the situation, so we get along fine”

The females students said that they would feel better if they lived on campus.

“Not only would it be easier, but I feel like I’d be more secure on campus,” said Salinas, her friends agreeing.

The males, however, expressed their love of freedom at the HoJo.
“Hands down, it’s better than living on campus,” Echavarria said.

Many students think it’s more convenient to live on campus because all the facilities are on located there.

“If they could pick up the HoJo and put it closer to campus, living there would be no problem,” Estefany said.

While other students are looking forward to moving out, others don’t mind staying. But none are sure exactly when they will be moved out.  In the end, it remains a countdown for some, while a great experience for the rest.

Charlie Hambos also contributed to this report.

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