After serving as a hybrid facility for both students and hotel guests, the Radisson Hotel is no longer being offered as a freshman housing option.
Since fall 2001, the Radisson on Figueroa Street has devoted four floors to house mainly freshman and a few transfer students because of a lack of adequate bed space elsewhere. New housing built in recent years with adequate facilities and amenities to meet the needs of students has largely influenced the decision to end student housing at the Radisson.
“The situation has changed dramatically,” said Michael Jackson, vice president of student affairs. “The university built the second residential college at Parkside Arts & Humanities and private developers have constructed several thousand beds on Figueroa [street] adjacent to campus.”
For students who are past residents of the Radisson, opinions are mixed.
“I’m kind of sad,” said Nicole Chau, a senior majoring in neuroscience and East Asian languages and cultures who lived in the Radisson as a freshman. “A lot of people thought you don’t get the dorm experience there. But I met a lot of my friends there, and we formed our own community.”
Mateo Epshteyn, a senior majoring in business, explained, although there were upsides to living at the Radisson, including nicer living accommodations versus other dorms like New/North, starting out college life in a hotel had its drawbacks.
“As far as transitioning to college, it’s not the kind of experience people expected,” Epshteyn said. “It was not a bad experience but I would have preferred to live in a conventional dorm.”
For this year’s freshmen, the Radisson showed up as a choice during the housing application process for the 2011-2012 school year, but it was later removed as an actual housing option.
“I was only considering Parkside Arts & Humanities, International Residential College and Birnkrant because I knew they were nice,” said Ashley Miyasaki, an undeclared freshman. “I heard that the accommodations were nice at the Radisson, but people were lonely there.”
Now that it is no longer housing students, the Radisson aims to focus its efforts solely on serving hotel guests.
“It was tough on staff to try and manage a hotel and student residence in the same building,” Jackson said. “The managers of the Radisson can get back to ensuring that it is a first-rate hotel that serves its guests very well.”
Jackson said the hotel’s business has picked up since the decision was made not to house students there.