Life in Affinias is bittersuite at best

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New York Times covered the story of NYU students living in $300 a night hotels.

By Grace Halio, Deputy Features Editor

NYU’s use of the Affinia hotels for student housing is likely not news to any current students, but a New York Times article published Friday looked into what it’s like for students living in this non-traditional housing. The connection between Affinia and NYU has been going on for five years, and there are indeed not many universities that house students in four-star hotels — even if it is to compensate for university housing shortages. To see if the accommodations live up to the promises of luxury on NYU Affinia’s Twitter page, WSN spoke to Gallatin sophomore Victor Leonard, who is spending his fall semester in Manhattan NYC, an Affinia Hotel on 31st Street and Seventh Avenue.

WSN: What is your commute like?
VL: It takes me less time to get from the hotel to campus via subway than it took me to walk from Palladium to campus. I leave a certain time every day, half an hour before class. We get a MetroCard [from NYU], which is really great, and they should be providing one if we live in “campus” housing that’s so far away.

WSN: When you aren’t eating in the dining halls, have you ever resorted to room service?
VL: Never. The way room service works is that you put down $100 flat to order it in the first place. Which I have not done.

WSN: Do you find that the kitchen is comfortable?
VL: It’s small. It’s not a real kitchen. We have a mini fridge and a microwave, and there’s no oven. I would much rather have an oven than a two-burner gas range. It’s basically a compromise between a traditional freshman room where you have the micro-fridge combo, and an upperclassmen suite-style room. It’s OK.

WSN: How is the rest of the room?
VL: It’s a studio. My roommate and I have ample space, but we don’t have any drawers — and that is awful — so for now my clothes are just folded and piled up in the corner. The room size does vary, so I’m lucky that we have a nicely sized room.

WSN: What about the amenities?
VL: The only thing that’s really inconvenient is laundry, which costs $2 a wash and $2 a dry. First, that’s double what you pay in residence hall laundry rooms. Second, there are only two washers and two dryers for the whole hotel. I’ve just taken to doing my laundry at 2 a.m. It’s been little adjustments. The twice-weekly housekeeping, though, is beautiful. They change the linens and the towels, so that’s a compromise.

WSN: Would you say that you have a functional study space?
VL: There is one full size desk and then a coffee table and chair. I took the coffee table and chair because I’m not much of the work-at-a-desk type, while my roommate is. It’s been about compromise, but it’s comfortable.

WSN: Do you know anyone else on your floor, particularly NYU students?
VL: I do not. I know one person who lives a couple floors up, but that’s just because I knew her last year. At least as a sophomore I’ve already gotten to know people.

WSN: So would you say that living there is better than living in a dorm?
VL: I would say it’s different. There are good things and bad things. I don’t get special treatment. I’m not a hotel guest. For what it is, I like it a lot.

Email Grace Halio at [email protected]