Morgan students continue to live in local hotel
Morgan State University continues to house some of its students in the Marriott Delta Hotel at Cross Keys for the duration of the 2021-2022 academic year.
In the fall semester, Morgan put a record number of students in the hotel due to the ongoing housing overage and rise in student applicants for campus housing.
The hotel is only being occupied by Morgan students, according to Douglass Gywnn, director of the Office of Residence Life and Housing.
Morgan has been in partnership with Cross Keys for several years to house students during its housing overages. Gwynn said the university plans to continue using the hotel in the spring semester.
Gwynn said, “For the spring of 2022, we continued with the hotel to ensure that we had enough space to accommodate those students who would apply for the spring of 2022.”
According to Gywnn, approximately 141 students currently reside in the hotel. Nearly 90 students have relocated from the hotel since the past fall semester.
Gwynn said, “We speculate that a number of students may have deferred their matriculation at Morgan State University as a result of space. Some folks are checking to see how the COVID variant would impact living on campus, those types of things.”
Last semester, there were about 270 students living in the hotels, according to Kevin Banks, vice president for student affairs.
Although students are being housed in the hotel this spring, they had the option to move into a dorm or stay in their hotel room.
“We did not want to necessarily disrupt their environment with how they have been matriculating and living from the fall of 2021. So, we gave them the option to do so,” Gwynn said.
Sophomore psychology major Ivanna Eubanks, wanted to live in Morgan View, but received the Delta hotel as her room assignment. Her initial reaction was not pleased, but she is enjoying her time in the hotel.
Eubanks said, “It made me feel anxious, angry, and disappointed. I was one of those students who didn’t get housing at the right time during the start of the school year.”
“[Overall] I like it because you get a bigger space and a nicer bathroom to share with another person. I do feel like living here can get in the way of some of our education due to the environment & setting,” Eubanks said.
Students residing in the hotel utilize the university’s shuttle services to travel to campus. There is also 24/7 security coverage at the hotel.
Gwynn said, “What we have done is provided a full complement of security in the hotel—that’s in the hotel, around the hotel.”
As Morgan expands its housing availability for the future, the university currently has no plans to lease space in the hotel for fall 2022.
“We are in the process of going through a very comprehensive housing plan to ensure that we have sufficient housing for the incoming class in fall of 2022.”
Gwynn said, “That is also impart to trying to prevent the necessity of having to go to a hotel because we have done a great job in trying to create an environment for our students to have more than adequate housing space. It’s better and more ideal that students live in a university space that we can have particularly freshmen here on campus.”
According to Banks, Morgan’s new dorm building, Thurgood Marshall Hall, will be available for students in August.
“I am excited about the new building going up. I’m starting to see the exterior of the building,” said Banks.