It's not the Hotel New Hampshire . . . Nor is it the Hotel California . . . But during the summer, the Department of Residential Living turns normal high rises dormitories into premium-priced lodging, complete with maid service. Call it the Hotel Pennsylvania. During the summer, when most students return home or opt to sublet off-campus, Residential Living turns standard dormitory rooms into hotel rooms for visitors to the University. "It's a busy and fun time of year for us," said Rebecca Perry, manager of conference and guest housing. "We are in the hotel business over the summer." Several groups which visit during the summer months are housed in dorm rooms on Superblock. Summer tenants include incoming freshmen, academics attending summer conferences and groups of high school students paricipating in Girl Scouts, the Pennsylvania Governor's School for Business and Upward Bound. To accomodate guests, Perry said her staff provides linen service and assures that bathrooms are properly attended to -- services which students during regular sessions don't receive. During the summer, only about 135 summer school students are housed in University dorms, according to Ellie Rupsis, the associate director for occupancy administration. Those students pay rent of $115 per week for the air-conditioned dorms. Perry said Low Rise North and High Rise South are currently open, and added that High Rise North will probably be opening in July. Complimentary housing is provided for 37 staff members, but the bulk of the occupants are conference members paying nightly rates, according to Perry. She said revenue generated from conference tenants helps offset the cost of on-campus living for students. She added that the high school groups get the same weekly rate. Off campus, the average rent for summer sublets is around $200 per month, according to local realtors. In addition, cheaper rents may be found in fraternity houses. The nightly rate in the high rises is $31 per person, according to Perry. While the rate is higher than the weekly arrangement, the cost is considerably lower than that of a full-time hotel in Philadelphia. Perry said she could not estimate the number of occupants on any given day, because the number changes so frequently; conferences are not on a regular schedule, and even the number of people who are taking summer classes varies with students changing their mind. In order to deal with sudden changes, six members of the summer conference housing staff receive free housing. Perry said they are on call 24 hours a day in order to serve guests. Perry said that others receiving complimentary housing include 15 residential advisors and eight full-time employees of residential living.Comments powered by Disqus
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