By Holly Wells
JOSH FIELDS/Arizona Summer Wildcat
From left: nursing senior Sylvia Quevedo and business junior Courtney Joseph wait for incoming freshmen to check in at the Villa del Puente residence hall during new student orientation yesterday afternoon. New students who choose to stay in a residence hall during orientation are charged a fee to rent the room.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
While last year’s freshmen are home for the summer and this year’s are preparing for life on their own, residence hall rooms are being rented out to several groups that visit campus during the summer.
Jim Van Arsdel, director of Residence Life, said like most schools across the country, UA dorms are used to house groups for summer camps or conferences.
“Generally the groups have some affiliation with the UA, like Arizona Girls State or the several UA sports camps,” he said.
Arizona Girls State, a program for high school girls sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, is among the groups that have been coming to campus the longest.
Barbara Matteson, assistant director of Arizona Girls State, said they have been staying in UA dorms for 58 years. This year, over 300 girls stayed in Coronado Residence Hall June 5 to 11.
Matteson said they stay at the UA because of the history they have here.
“There’s a tradition and the UA has been quite receptive to us,” she said.
The University rents out the rooms to groups for several reasons, Van Arsdel said.
“The mission of the university it to provide service and this provides a service to the programs that come to campus,” he said.
Van Arsdel said most of the dorms are used at some point throughout the summer to house these groups. Although the majority of the groups are made up of junior high and high school students, Van Arsdel said some of the groups are adult groups.
Parents and students here for orientation also have the option of staying in the residence halls.
Because so many of the guests are young people, Van Arsdel said this service helps young adults to envision themselves at a university, especially the UA.
“Groups like staying here for the simple reason that it’s not a hotel,” he said. “They want to have the university experience. It’s cool for kids.”
Matteson said this is the case for many of the girls who stay on campus during Girls State.
“They all enjoy it,” she said of the girls who come from all over the state. “They get to see how dorm life is and many of them end up becoming students at the UA.”
It’s easier for the group to stay on campus because all of the events take place in different classrooms across campus, Matteson said.
“We give hands-on courses on city, county and state government. Everything is on campus. It’s a very tight schedule so it’d be impossible if we stayed at another place,” she said.
The UA is also able to generate additional revenue from these groups and therefore won’t have to charge students as much, said Van Arsdel. The money goes to Residence Life.
Van Arsdel said groups pay per-person per-night and said the prices vary widely depending on the number of people, the number of nights and the level of service they want. He said much of the cost depends on if the group can fit into the same hall as another group or if they need their own hall.
The largest group that stays in the halls over the summer is a Catholic group called Life Teen, which brings 4,000 youths to campus in July, Van Arsdel said.