Students are unhappy with Quinnipiac’s hotel quarantine policy

Melina Khan, Copy Editor

Quinnipiac University COVID-19 quarantine options include a hotel for students to isolate in the event that there is a need for additional space. However, students who have chosen this option are frustrated with the experience.

Monique Drucker, vice president and dean of students, said fewer than 10 students have been sent to the Hilton Garden Inn in Wallingford since the policy was implemented last semester.

Quinnipiac University partnered with the Hilton Garden Inn to provide an option for students to quarantine at the hotel. (Connor Lawless)

“When possible, we will place students in our quarantine space on campus, however we have a great partnership with the hotel and we have a process in place to make it as smooth as possible for our students who are moved to the hotel,” Drucker said

Hilton Garden Inn’s Wallingford general manager did not respond to the Chronicle’s request for comment.

Drucker said that the university covers costs for students as necessary, including a standard room and the cost of meals throughout the stay. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel and students are permitted to go outside for fresh air, similar to quarantine policies on campus.

Aryssa Tyrol, a senior health science studies major, was left feeling unsafe living in on-campus quarantine housing and requested to stay in a hotel instead.

Residential Life sent Tyrol to Complex, Quinnipiac’s quarantine dorms, after her pre-arrival COVID-19 testing kit from Quest Diagnostics was lost in the mail.

“I arrived at QU after driving two hours from Massachusetts for them to tell me there’s nothing they can do,” Tyrol said.

While she understands mistakes happen in the mail, Tyrol said she disagrees with the school’s response to the situation and decision to turn her away.

After paying for a PCR test out of pocket and testing negative, Tyrol was still sent to quarantine where she learned she would be staying in a suite with other students.

“This was disturbing to me,” Tyrol said. “Six or eight (I’m not sure because I didn’t leave my bed) random girls from all over packed into one tiny space for all different reasons, some of them could have been exposed, and I could have been infected.”

Tyrol then requested to stay at the hotel where she could be away from other students, but said it was difficult to coordinate this with Quinnipiac’s administration.

“I reached out to three different people by email and phone and I still was forced to stay overnight one night in the Complex,” Tyrol said. “I had an anxiety attack and almost drove home in the middle of the night and continued the semester remotely. I felt like no one cared about me or was helping me.”

Ali Feldman, a first-year biomedical science major, expressed similar frustrations in a recent Chronicle article

“The communication is horrible and everything is extremely unorganized,” said Feldman, who also quarantined at the Wallingford hotel.

Another student, Julia Selenko, a sophomore media studies major, struggled getting in touch with Residential Life when she was sent to stay in quarantine housing after missing her move-in date due to a family emergency.

“I was constantly calling and emailing Residential Life to get a clear and straight answer from them,” Selenko said. “Friends who I was talking to who also go to Quinnipiac who were dealing with the same situation were being told different information than me.”

Selenko said she was not given a choice of where to quarantine and ultimately stayed in on-campus housing.

“Quinnipiac either stuck you in a hotel if they ran out of room on campus that you had to pay for, which is ridiculous or put you on campus in their containment/quarantine housing,” Selenko said. “I do wish I had been given a choice to at least continue to contain at home but you had to contain on campus either way if you were living on campus this semester.”

Quinnipiac did not cover the expenses of Tyrol’s hotel stay because she was offered a room on campus.

“I felt that option was completely absurd and definitely unsafe, so I refused to stay there,” Tyrol said. “I didn’t care how much I had to pay when it came to my own safety and well-being.” 

However, Tyrol said she was not provided meals and the hotel’s restaurant only served breakfast, so she had to leave the hotel daily for food. She said she was not monitored during her quarantine and was only contacted by Quinnipiac the original day she moved into the hotel. 

Though there were no other students in her room, Tyrol said she is unsure if quarantining at a hotel was more efficient than staying in on-campus dorms because there was no monitoring to ensure students were adhering to their quarantine.

Tyrol said she is glad the experience is over and that she hopes she does not have to endure anything similar in the future.

“This was just an awful experience overall that I think was awfully handled,” Tyrol said. “But I understand that these are unprecedented times and no one is sure what the best thing to do is.”