By Tori Templet | Staff Writer
Due to the admittance of the largest incoming class of freshmen Baylor University has ever seen, typical housing accommodations were not enough to meet the needs of the new students. Baylor Cityside is the new housing option this year, as the university has decided to partner with the Springhill Suites by Marriott Hotel on the corner of University Parks Drive and Interstate 35.
Students living in Cityside are attempting to get acclimated with not living on campus. Although close to campus, many say it still does not give the students the full Baylor freshman experience they had hoped for. However, these freshmen continue to look on the bright side of things.
Bossier City, Louisiana freshman Grace Vela is living in Cityside and said it has been frustrating to navigate the situation, but Baylor is still trying to give the students as much of a normal dorm experience as possible.
“Something I have learned is that everything happens for a reason,” Vela said. “How many people get to say they got to live in a hotel? I have the opportunity to make this an amazing experience, so I just decided to come in with an open mind. Now that I’ve been here for a few weeks, I am just grateful that we were able to be given the opportunity of having student housing, even if it looks different than normal.”
Students at Cityside are provided with queen beds, larger spaces than an average dorm room and they are able to add decorations to make the place feel like home. Parking is available for residents on-site, and there is a shuttle system that brings students back and forth between campus and the hotel.
Although Cityside lacks common areas on the floors like most on campus residence halls, students still attempt to find a sense of community on their floors. Cityside runs like a normal residence hall would, with a hall director and community leaders.
San Antonio freshman Christian Glowe said the community leaders are trying to make sure the students can still maintain the sense of community that other dorms offer.
“It can sometimes be difficult to meet more people on my floor, but when I meet someone new from Cityside, it connects us in a way. We know we are in this together,” Glowe said. “The university did the best they could. Sure, the situation could be better, but I am glad we have a place to stay.”
Watch the LTVN Feature of Baylor Cityside below: