W Hotel to continue housing students in spring

A+man+walking+past+the+W+Hotel+on+Stuart+St.

Photo: Jakob Menendez

A man walking past the W Hotel on Stuart St.

By Patrick Pierce

Emerson will continue to house students and hold classes in the four-star W hotel during the spring semester, extending a deal that put approximately 200 students in the downtown space this fall.

Students currently staying at the W on Stuart St. will keep their current fall semester rooms through April, Duncan Pollock, interim assistant vice president of facilities management and campus services, confirmed in an interview.

“For the spring semester, it’s my understanding that the students are going to be keeping their rooms,” Pollock said.

Administrators housed students in the W this fall to de-densify campus residence halls and comply with COVID-19 safety restrictions. The Paramount residence hall, which houses 260 students in a typical semester, is now occupied solely by students in isolation or quarantine.

The luxury hotel houses students on its fifth through fourteenth floors. 

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College officials have yet to officially notify students currently living in the W of their plans for the spring semester. Students in the W were directed in a Nov. 10 email from the Office of Housing and Residential Education to completely vacate their space when leaving for Thanksgiving break. OHRE stated in the same email that a final decision would be made and shared in the coming weeks. 

Pollock also confirmed that the college will continue to host classes at the W hotel for the spring semester. Course registration for the spring semester listed the hotel as a classroom location for at least 31 classes.

Emerson’s deal with the W followed the lead of schools like Northeastern University and Suffolk University, who have also inked deals with Boston hotels to house students. The cost of staying in the W for the duration of the semester, at normal rates, exceeds what students pay in room and board costs to live in residence halls. One night in the W is estimated to cost approximately $129, according to Expedia Travel. It is unknown if Emerson is paying this rate or at a discounted rate. 

Emerson previously housed students in hotels between 2005 and 2007 due to capacity limitations. In 2005 and 2006, Emerson housed students in the Hilton Doubletree near Tufts Medical Center, before the Piano Row residence hall was opened. In 2007, up to 130 students were living in both the nearby Hilton Doubletree and a Courtyard by Marriott. 

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