Ames hotel will not provide same valuable experience for on-campus students

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One of Suffolk University’s primary attractions is its lively location in the heart of Boston. Yet, with this location comes difficulty finding a place to house all of its students. Suffolk attempted to tackle this challenge by purchasing the Ames Hotel building as The Suffolk Journal recently reported.

This was a very poor decision. The residence hall at 1047 Commonwealth Ave is a great loss, as it housed more students and provided accommodations that no other residence hall owned by Suffolk can, such as in-unit laundry and state-of-the-art kitchens. 

Suffolk will not renew its two-year lease on the 1047 residential hall, and instead officially purchased the Ames Hotel building for $63.5 million. With the loss of 1047, Suffolk students will be losing a great opportunity that the Ames building cannot make up for.

The newly acquired building will provide less accommodation than the 1047 residential hall which is able to house up to 380 students, while the Ames building will only house 266 students, The Journal reported. Interest in on-campus housing has increased, along with on-campus occupancy rates. 

According to the Department of Neighborhood Development within the city of Boston, “Since 2013, the number of undergraduate students housed on-campus has increased by slightly more than 1,600 students, an increase of 3.9%.” With the increased interest for housing and the decrease in availability, more students will be turned away and forced to live off-campus. 

It is very difficult to find off-campus housing, especially when still adjusting to a new school; many Suffolk students even transfer in after their first year. As we all know, housing is hard to come by and extremely expensive in Boston. With on-campus housing, students do not need to worry about the long, troublesome process of finding roommates, apartment touring, brokers fees and even finding a listing with the housing shortage in this city. 

The Department of Neighborhood Development states that in Boston, 60% of all full-time undergraduates are housed on-campus. At Suffolk however, only 27 percent of the students live in college-owned, operated or affiliated housing and 73 percent of students live off campus, according to U.S. News.

Suffolk’s housing accommodates fewer students than most Boston schools do, and with the new Ames building, this number will drop even lower. More students will be strained to go through the gruesome process of finding off-campus housing after only one year. 

Another advantage of the 1047 residence hall is that it assists students with the transition between on-campus and off-campus housing by encouraging students to develop a commuter-mindset. The building is located in Allston, which helps students develop time management skills as they must budget time for a commute that is longer than just a few blocks. 

One of Suffolk’s motivations for purchasing the Ames Hotel building is its close proximity to campus, compared to the approximate 25-minute commute from 1047. However, as previously stated, 73% of Suffolk students already live off-campus. Many commuter students travel from Allston, Mission Hill or East Boston; each taking around the same time to get to campus depending on the location and transit options. 

By living in 1047 before transitioning to an off-campus apartment, students are able to become acclimated to Boston’s public transportation, while not having to adjust to other obstacles that come with finding off-campus housing. 

On-campus housing comes with Residential Assistants, maintenance, 24/7 security, water and electricity all while living within a community of Suffolk students; all assets off-campus housing does not provide. 

Commuting from Allston also encourages students to explore Boston and feel more independent in what can be an overwhelming city. This way, less stress is placed on students. As a result, they will be able to perform better academically and socially when they do eventually go off-campus, given they’ve already experienced a commuter lifestyle.

1047 will be a big loss for Suffolk students. It provides accommodations that no other residence hall currently does. 1047 supplies a full kitchen with all stainless-steel appliances, including a full refrigerator, dishwasher and an in-unit washer and dryer. The building is steps away from a full-service grocery store and sits upon a Caffe Nero coffee shop where Ram Cards are accepted. It is close to multiple concert venues such as the Agganis Arena and the Paradise Rock Club. Students are also right near Boston University’s campus where there are plenty of wallet-friendly restaurants. For the same cost of living, Suffolk students will not get to experience these amazing opportunities while living at the Ames Hotel building.

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