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US hotels offer students long-term housing but insist they’re not mimicking the college dorm experience

Talia Oleshansky was hoping to spend her junior year at Indiana University in the sorority house for Alpha Epsilon Phi, as she did her sophomore year.

Instead, she will be moving into a hotel — a result of Indiana University’s reduction in on-campus housing availability.

Fewer students at IU and at universities around the United States will be allowed to stay in either dorms or fraternity and sorority houses in an effort to maintain social distancing protocols.

Some students, including those who are immunocompromised or who live internationally, are simply opting to complete the academic year remotely.

Yet many are like Oleshansky: Eager to still get some part of the college experience this year, even if it’s through socially distanced social events and modified extracurriculars only.

Nearly all of the tenets of the traditional college experience — packed lectures, campus parties, even cafeteria-style meals in crowded dining halls — aren’t in the college cards this year as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

As universities grapple with how to open safely and maintain a semblance of normalcy in an unprecedented year, they are reducing class sizes and tapping teaching assistants to run small sections.

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