Highland District dorms open to students, despite rumors otherwise
Two old Highland District stand-bys, Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall and Hopi Residence Halls, welcomed incoming students for move in this past week, despite reports last year that they would be closed for good.
“At one time last year, we did discuss not opening those buildings, just based on perceived demand that we were looking at at the time,” said Ali Santander, assistant director of marketing and communications for Housing and Residential Life.
Last semester, members of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, the UA’s undergraduate student government, expressed concern over the shuttering of the dorms, as they were two lower-cost options for on-campus living.
“I am concerned that these two dorms, that are more accessible to lower income students, were held in an effort to push students into the new Honors Village to reach its occupancy limit,” former ASUA president Natalynn Masters said at an ASUA Senate meeting on April 3.
While some ASUA members, like Masters, speculated that the closing of Graham-Greenlee and Hopi was a push to get students to live in higher-priced spots on campus, Santander denied this. At the April 3 meeting, she told the senators that expected UA enrollment was low and that these dorms had been selected for closure because of their proximity to the construction of the new Student Success District and that their price had not been a factor.
However, this year the University of Arizona received more freshman applications than ever before, over 40,000 according to a UANews press release. Over 10,000 new students enrolled this semester.
“Over the spring semester, it was determined that there was a need for those spaces on campus,” Santander said. “And so we added those buildings back into our inventory and let the residents of those buildings know that if they wanted to return to Hopi or Graham-Greenlee, they could do so.”
This year, the only dorm not open to residents is Yavapai. It is currently undergoing “renovations and modernization,” according to Santander, and is expected to open back up next school year.
Follow Vanessa Ontiveros on Twitter