By Davey Smith
In the fall of 2009, HCC started renting rooms from the Ramada Inn to house students who were on dorm waiting lists.
These were students who applied or enrolled after the deadline for the semester, when there was no room in the residence halls.
The dorms could only house 500 students when filled to capacity, “It leaves a majority of the students responsible for their own housing,” Dana Hinshaw, director of residence life, said.
The Ramada was used mostly for the fall semester; students were moved to the residence halls as soon as possible.
In the spring of 2014, it was decided it wasn’t necessary to use the Ramada any more, due to the purchase of Dragon’s Landing Two.
With this new addition, HCC can house over 550 students.
Within a month of the semester’s start there was no longer a waiting list for housing.
Prior to 2014, about 60 students were housed at the Ramada. There were multiple issues that came up while students were there.
One of the major problems was the distance to the campus, considering that many students would just walk to class.
In cold weather, many students would arrive late to classes or not show up.
Considering that it was hard to participate in campus activities, some students might not have felt a part of the community.
Another issue with the Ramada was the relative lack of security, which led to students causing trouble. There were no cameras in the halls, and it had minimal security staff.
Combined with the lack of things to do and no significant living space, it led to occasional incidents.
Also, it often was impossible to figure out who was responsible for anything.
On our campus, HCC has over 270 security cameras that watch and record what is going on.
The new apartments have addressed most of these problems, while increasing the amount of housing available.
They also have security cameras, similar to the residence halls. This will make it easier to monitor parking lots.
And on the plus side, it is significantly closer to the campus.