Morgan’s housing crisis continues: Up to 500 placed in local hotel

Students will begin moving into unnamed hotel Aug. 23, following record enrollment for the university.

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Edwin Moore

“This is not representative of what we planned for your arrival. We are facing a headwind of positive growth at Morgan, and with that growth comes some growing pains,” Wilson said, adding that the university’s total housing inventory increased this fall compared to last year’s 2,600 available beds.

Cayla Cade, Features Editor

Morgan State University will lease out an additional 500 beds at an unnamed local hotel to accommodate students placed on a housing waitlist, President David Wilson announced Friday morning.

Students received an email on Tuesday from Douglas Gwynn, director of the Office of Residence Life and Housing, that they must opt into residing in the hotel by Thursday.

This comes after the university welcomed nearly 3,400 students into its university housing options, both on and off campus. 

Additionally, Wilson said the university expects to welcome nearly 9,000 students for the fall semester, a record number for the sprouting university. More than 55 percent of students from the entering class are out-of-state.

“This is not representative of what we planned for your arrival. We are facing a headwind of positive growth at Morgan, and with that growth comes some growing pains,” Wilson said, adding that the university’s total housing inventory increased this fall compared to last year’s 2,600 available beds.

Students will begin moving into the hotel Aug. 23, a day after the first day of classes. 

The hotel, located about 15 minutes from campus, will have security 24/7 and an ongoing shuttle service to and from campus. Meal options are available for those who opted for the meal plan. 

This plan is a drastic shift from the university’s plans, Kevin Banks, vice president of student affairs, disclosed initially.

“And at this point, you don’t have a waiting list. And so we’re not, we’re not in the mindset that we need to have the hotel,” Banks said in July about overflow housing plans.

The university partnered with Cross Keys for several years, but Banks said that the hotel is not interested in going into a long-term leasing agreement with the university.

“The hotel has said that, at this point, they want to really be open for commercial business,” said Banks. 

However, not all students have quickly adapted to the shift.

Justyn Wilson, junior psychology major, might skip the fall semester because of the uncertainty around housing. 

He said that since he will not be able to commute to his home in New Jersey, he will need access to amenities like a kitchen throughout the semester, so staying at the hotel without one is impractical.

Justyn Wilson said that poor communication from the university only added insult to injury.

“[They] could have a better system overall had better employees have better communication, maybe more employees or they can get stuff done faster,” he said.

Justyn Wilson is currently on the waitlist for Marble Hall. He does not know when he will receive any updates on his waitlist status and plans to apply to Morgan View.

The Office of Residence Life & Housing expects to disclose more detail on all move-in process logistics in the future.