Thirty Johns Hopkins freshmen are being housed at the Hopkins Inn this year due to an increase in the enrollment yield, school officials said this week.
All female freshmen, these residents occupy the top two floors of the hotel until exam time ends next May, according to a deal made between the University and the bed and breakfast establishment.
The decision to utilize the facilities at the Inn came after it was discovered that housing was needed for an additional 100 admitted students. In less than six or seven weeks, several different departments within the University --- including Telecom, Security, Residential Life and Hopkins Information Technology [HIT] Services -- collaborated in the effort to transform the antique Masterpiece Theater setting guest rooms into breakfast-themed college dorms.
"A lot of planning has gone in to incorporate these residents into the University," said Director of Housing and Conference Services Tracy Angel, director of housing and conference services. "We felt it would be the more comfortable option as opposed to tripling every single room in Buildings A and B."
Split into triples of significantly larger size than other rooms offered by campus housing and each with its own bathroom, these temporary "dorms" boast doorbells, colorful wallpaper and dZcor, full baths, hairdryers and free basic cable.
While Hopkins phone services have been installed, the girls have the privilege of wireless Internet connection as opposed to the normal Ethernet and DSL Internet connections provided to all other students. Although these residents are housed in the Hopkins Inn, they are not considered guests and must make the trip to Wolman and McCoy for mail, food and laundry.
The pricing of the doubles is essentially the same as Wolman housing at $5468, while the singles are priced down by about $300. This is due to the fact that the single is not really a single because the other two residents in the double must come through the room to access the hallway and the single resident must go through the double to access the bathroom.
For security, the Hopkins Inn is being staffed by two officers who patrol on day and night shifts. Additionally, there is a shuttle stop right in front of the Inn, which is located around the corner of McCoy on St. Paul Street.
Although there is a sign hung just next the right side of the stairs that leads up to the 3rd floor warning curious guests away, many of the residents professed a little bit of uneasiness in leaving their doors open.
Residential advisor Emily Garrison was assigned to take charge over the two floors and 30 girls, acting as the go-between hotel policies and University regulations.
"I lived in the AMR's my freshman year," said the senior international relations major. "I think the Inn is a great opportunity for these girls to be part of a special community."
While all the hotel furniture was replaced with standard University furniture, the items in the RA's suite remained the same, including desks, curtains and couches. "We are supportive of the agreement with the University and have had no complaints as of yet," said hotel manager Jeff Lambert.
The girls had mixed feelings regarding the arrangement.
"At first I was really mad that it was all girls," said Miamian Erin Hantnan. "They didn't even tell me in the letter I got over the summer. I found out at an alumni party. But now that we have been living here for a week, I can already feel the bond tightening."
Her fellow resident, Liane Lee, said she had similar fears before coming to Hopkins.
"My biggest fear was living way off campus and feeling isolated," she said.
Most of the girls agreed that the best aspect of the situation was the comfort level and the worst aspect the social factors or lack there of.
"I actually have to give tours of the Inn to my freshman friends, like here, this is the room," said single resident Jess Beaton. "The awareness factor is just not there."
While this is only the third time The Johns Hopkins University has opted for hotel-style dorming, previously in 1996 and 1999, it is a phenomenon that has become quite common at many other schools across the country.
"This is an echo of the baby boom," said Director of Residential Life Shelley Fickau ll. "Ivy league schools are now assigning triples and renting out hotel space to accommodate wider enrollment."
"There is nothing like it," said Building B resident Ryan Carol. "We are stuck with holes in the walls and broken stuff, and they have fireplaces! And yes--boys are allowed.