The University of Connecticut, Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners (AJ Capital Partners) and The Graduate Hotels owner have approved a plan for The Graduate to purchase the Nathan Hale Inn this past Wednesday, Sept. 26. The inn was bought by UConn in 2015 and 150 of its rooms are used as on-campus student housing. Students who currently live in Nathan Hale will remain there until the end of the 2018-2019 academic year, but the inn will not be an on-campus housing option for students next fall.
Nathan Hale is considered to be better than many on-campus residence options, so removing it will increase competition for other preferable dorms such as Busby, Garrigus and South. Fifth-semester student Leila Gallupe, who currently lives in Husky Village, mentioned that the sale of Nathan Hale is “bad for students because it means there will be less housing for students. It will be more competitive to get housing so more sophomores or even juniors might get stuck in traditional dorm-style living when they would have preferred suites, especially Nathan Hale because it is nice to be able to have your own bathroom.”
On-campus housing is distributed through a credit-based system in which students with more credits have an earlier pick time for housing. Typically, on-campus apartments are the first to go. Hilltop and Charter Oak Apartments are more popular, desirable housing choices. Next are the suites–South, Garrigus, Busby, and, formerly, Nathan Hale. Once spots in suites are taken, communal dorm spaces (North, Northwest, East, Hilltop Halls, etc.) begin to fill.
Since Nathan Hale fills up fast relative to other residence halls that will remain on-campus housing choices next fall, selling the inn would limit preferable on-campus housing options for students with enough credits to attain any of the halls with suites. Some of the students that currently have enough credits to get a housing spot in Nathan Hale, Busby, Garrigus or South may not be able to live in any suites. For instance, sophomores that used to be able to get into Busby Suites may no longer be able to get housing as desirable as Busby, and instead end up living in a traditional-style dorm, which is much less preferable.
In a Daily Campus News article written by Taylor Harton, “Kunal Marwah, a second-semester junior living in the inn” said “‘I transferred from North dorms which were too small and humid. I love it here at the Inn… I think that the top two floors should still be dorms.’” In order to optimize student convenience, UConn should take measures to make up for the loss of Nathan Hale and the increased competition for preferable student housing.