Hilton residents move to campus

The remaining Hilton residents moved back to campus, leaving behind weekly housecleaning and a hot tub at their first-semester living space.

Twelve freshmen male students relocated to O'Donnell Hall and one found room at Carpenter Tower after spending a semester at the Hilton due to housing shortages on campus.

The change of scenery was possible because enough students left O'Donnell to allow 12 openings for the Hilton residents, said Jim McMahon, dean of Residence Life.

Those who moved had mixed feelings about the situation.

"It'll be a little adjustment in terms of having to meet new people but I'm excited," said Patrick Landry, a former Hilton resident and freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences. "I'm excited about the interactions with more people."

Landry, a Marquette Student Government senator for Hilton, said he chose to keep his MUSG position, giving O'Donnell two representatives.

The move "was kind of last-minute," said Mark Geisler, a College of Engineering freshman and former Hilton resident. He said he thought the administration waited too long to announce its final decision.

The Hilton residents found out they were moving Dec. 9, according to Landry. The students received an e-mail informing them of the situation and were invited to a meeting with Residence Life staff.

Geisler said he prefers living on campus.

"It's really nice to be in an actual dorm," he said. "Overall, Marquette did a pretty good job with us."

According to McMahon, although spaces were available at O'Donnell and Carpenter before the second semester, the administration wanted to keep the residents together until they could accommodate all of them.

"We're glad the guys were patient with it," McMahon said. "We're happy to have them back on campus."

Marquette negotiated a contract with the Hilton City Center to accommodate the students last semester, according to McMahon. The four-star hotel contacted Marquette last winter and stated it could be available as a housing option if the need arose.

While the average rate for a one-night stay at the hotel ranges from $132 to $139, the rooms set aside for Marquette students cost as much as a typical O'Donnell double, McMahon said.

The average room and board for the 2004-'05 school year was $7,160.

While they stayed at the hotel, students followed a few special rules, Landry said. They could not alter the room and were unable to use a DVD player. According to Landry, hotel management strongly preferred residents stay in their designated fifth-floor wing.

McMahon said the students could not use their meal plans at the hotel but had to travel to a residence hall cafeteria, which was usually the Straz Tower dining hall because of its proximity. Marquette established a shuttle service for the students.

The Hilton Residence Hall was technically part of South Hall, Geisler said.

The arrangement allowed residents from both halls to socialize.

Students could move their belongings to O'Donnell storage closets before holiday break, and Office of Residence Life provided an early drop-off option the week before classes started, said Marcus Miller, ORL employee and College of Arts & Sciences junior.

Residents could move in starting 10 a.m. Saturday like most hall residents.

This article appeared in The Marquette Tribune on Jan. 18 2005.