W hotel to be used as temporary residence for more than 200 students

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Media: Jakob Menendez

A man walking past the W Hotel on Stuart St.

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The college intends to house more than 200 students in the W hotel this semester, a measure being taken to accommodate social distancing on campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was announced in an email sent to students staying in the hotel Thursday afternoon by Director of Housing and Residence Education Christie Anglade. 

“We are thrilled that after investigating a number of options, we were able to secure a collaboration with a hotel that is in close proximity to campus, and readily willing and able to support our student needs,” Anglade wrote in the email obtained by The Beacon. “After reviewing multiple properties, we determined that the W Boston would provide the best and most convenient options for our students.” 

The W is not currently open to the public and will be home to 208 students and eight resident assistants in the fall. Students will occupy floors five through 14 of  the Stuart St. hotel’s typically available rental space (above floors are condos). It is unclear how many of these rooms will be single or double occupancy. 

These residents will have to sign an updated housing contract to account for hotel-specific policies, including a different pricing structure for damage to items than the typical residence hall fines. 

The Paramount, which is being used as a quarantine and isolation space in the fall, can house up to 260 students in a normal semester. 

Residents at the W will have to tap into the hotel’s outdoor door and use an elevator designated specifically for Emerson students. Each room in the hotel will be equipped with a mini-refrigerator, wireless internet, and a tv. Some rooms may have Emerson-provided furniture as well.

The college’s IT department is working with the W to ensure the internet connection can support multiple students video conferencing at once.  

W residents will be permitted to visit each other’s rooms, with only four students allowed in a given room at a given time. It is unclear if the same policy applies for students living in the same residence hall. 

All W student bathrooms will be cleaned weekly at a time communicated to students beforehand. The resident will not be allowed to be present in the room during this process.

The W will also provide students with bedding, but residents are expected to bring their own comforter or duvet. Students will not be able to hang items on the wall nor can they access the W gym, mail services, or hotel room service. 

All W staff members will undergo symptom checks.

Students staying at the hotel must remove all their belongings from the W by the morning of Nov. 25 when Thanksgiving Break begins and the college switches to online-only learning for the semester’s remaining two weeks. The college will provide storage for these items at no cost to residents.

Correction 7/30/20: A previous version of this article implied that the W has 26 floors of available hotel rooms. That is not correct. Upper floors of the W are condo spaces. We regret this error.

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