BY Jackie Clifford
As the new Upper Quad dormitories won’t be ready until the start of the spring semester next year, there are currently students temporarily living at the Marriott Hotel in Trumbull. The majority of students at the Marriott are sophomores and are looking forward to being the first to move into the new buildings come January.
Senior Ben Harrell is a Resident Success Assistant (RSA) at the Marriott.
“I think being a RSA in the Marriott is more challenging than other areas on campus,” said Harrell. “Residents are more likely to stay on-campus during the day, so it is harder to reach out and check in with them.”
Just like the residence halls on campus, there is a Resident Hall Director (RHD) and are RSAs at the Marriott. Residential Life has been doing their best to make living at the hotel feel as similar to living in a dorm on campus as possible.
“Living in a hotel is something that not many college students can say that they have done before. For myself, this is my second time around. The first time I lived here was my junior year in 2017 as a first-year RSA and this year as the RHD,” said Resident Hall Director Dani Mascia.
Mascia graduated from Sacred Heart University in 2019 and is the current RHD at the Trumbull Marriott. She said that as an RHD, she now has a lot more responsibility and that one of the hardest parts about living at the Marriott is making sure everyone is always staying positive, because living at a hotel as a college student is an experience like no other.
“Living in a hotel quite literally feels like you are living ‘The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.’ With this show being a huge part of our childhood, students get excited to have that experience,” said Mascia.
“My favorite part of living in the hotel is tied between the bathrooms and the big beds. However, not all residents are guaranteed a full sized bed. The bathrooms are nice and roomy, and we only have to share between one other person,” said RSA Maisy Carvalho.
Some students have been encountering some problems while living in the Marriott. The hotel is about 15 minutes away from campus which can make it difficult for students to get back and forth from main campus for classes, meals, and other various activities.
“One of the challenges we have at the hotel is the distance away from campus,” said Joel Quintong, the Director of Residential Life. “We recognize that it can be challenging, but considering the balance of the amenities and quality of the overall hotel experience, we’d still choose the slightly greater distance away from campus compared to the alternatives.”
Mascia set up different opportunities, which helped relieve the struggle of the students being so far from the dining halls. At the hotel, SHU students are offered complimentary breakfast every single day as well as having a designated discounted menu at the hotel restaurant.
“We understand that being 10-15 minutes from campus can be tricky when coming to prepping for meals,” said Mascia.
Quintong said that the students have generally had a positive experience living at the Marriott so far. The few differences and difficulties have not set these students back, if anything their experience has been enhanced.
“They recognize that their stay there is temporary, and the jackpot at the end of the rainbow, so to speak, is a new, beautiful and convenient residence hall that they will be able to move into,” said Quintong.