Hotel Ignacio makes space for guests, but leaves students with no places of their own


Students who walked past the Busch Student Center to the Med Campus shuttle may have noticed a line of SLU Ride vans – in the middle of the day – ready to pounce upon command in the loading area. They served as shuttles to and from the Manresa Center, which was used as a residence hall for students bereft of on-campus housing.

The vans were one of the many crutches that the administration instigated in their attempt to deal with what is now a long is drawn-out issue. All residence buildings at SLU are filled to the brim, which left some students in limbo.

Tensions simmered at the end of last year with the new policy that required sophomores to live on campus, making housing a valuable commodity.

Many sophomores (now juniors) found themselves in the residence halls they had when they were freshmen, and even more upperclassmen were pushed off-campus into private apartments.

The Flats were not included in the housing scholarship due to which SLU earlier promised that students would never have to move there.

As it stands, many SLU students now live in the Flats, rendering their housing scholarship obsolete.

We cue in the big twist in our lengthy drama. SLU’s construction of a new boutique hotel on Olive Blvd. called Hotel Ignacio, hits a sensitive nerve for us.

While the construction may help revitalize the Midtown area and bring possible revenue to SLU, we question the timeliness of this project.

SLU is undergoing an upsurge in enroll is putting stress on our housing crisis. Instead of using the energy and money that will be spent on the hotel to fix the housing problem by acquiring land/buildings for necessary new residence halls, SLU will instead budget funds towards a project that has no direct correlation to the student body.

In fact, all press releases and other public information about the hotel fail to mention how SLU students will directly benefit. We have to connect those floating dots ourselves.

We are creating vacancies for those who hardly need it. Potential dignitaries that the hotel will serve have Water Tower Inn, which we use currently to host SLU guests and alumni.

When we understand that Hotel Ignacio is more of a pet-project than a necessity, the issue of hosting dignitaries loses its timesensitivity (especially since planning started a year ago, overlapping with the housing crisis). Hotel Ignacio can assuredly wait with an adequate alternative already built.

With triples in Clemens and sophomores in Grand Forest, our housing predicament expands and coagulates into proportions that demand careful short-term and long-term planning.

In a microcosm, it’s the choice between one’s social life and studying. We all know the right answer, but we refuse to acknowledge it when other shiny activities tempt us from afar.

Students pined away in Manresa, suffering the shuttles that left them either stranded on campus or back in the residence hall.

In the meantime, SLU barrels on with its ill-planned project that quite thoroughly leaves no room for us.

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