WHUS News Correspondent Sarah Al-Arshani contributed to the reporting of this story.

University of Connecticut Hartford and Avery Point students are now living at Storrs thanks to a pilot program offered by the university to give them a residential experience at the main campus, according to UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.

Reitz says after receiving 156 applications, 109 of those students are now housed at the Storrs campus.

Though the students live on campus, the Residential Life website reminds students that the majority of their courses must be taken at the campus in which they are accepted. For the program, that would mean either at the UConn Hartford Campus or the UConn Avery Point campus.

As a result, their academic advisor will be at their accepted campus.

Retiz says most are also taking at least one class at the Storrs campus as well.

Although their courses are mainly based at their regional campus, their fee bills reflect their housing, since the fees on each campus vary, according to the Residential Life website.

The “Frequently Asked Questions” section says students in the program will not be charged regional campus student fees. Tuition will not be changed since it is the same across all UConn campuses.

UConn students walk past the husky statue next to Gampel Pavilion on a rainy day. Photo: Daniela Doncel

Reitz says the CT Transit route has a lot to do with this program, since so many UConn students and employees are already using it.

CT Transit is a bus service owned by the Connecticut Transportation Department, according to their website.

Reitz says students have a state-issued pass called “U Pass” which gives them unlimited rides on all public transportation in the state. This pass helps many students travel between Storrs and downtown Hartford throughout the day.

According to the ResLife website, these students will also have the ability to have a car on the Storrs campus without the need of meeting the minimum number of academic credits.

Parking and vehicle policies at UConn state that students with 54 or more earned academic credits and assigned UConn housing on the Storrs campus are eligible to purchase a Resident Parking Permit. The ResLife website says this would not apply to those students in the program.

The website also says parking services is working on a parking permit that can be used at both the Storrs campus and the regional campus to avoid parking payments at both locations.

Reitz says the idea of this program came from UConn President Susan Herbst’s office after they heard from students who said they’d like to have the residential experience at Storrs.

She says, “We found that those students have welcomed it as a chance to have the ‘dorm life’ experience while still being able to keep taking the classes that interest them at the regional campuses.”

Reitz also says UConn Dining Services contributed to the program by providing meals that these students can take on the go if they’re not around Storrs during dining hall hours. This includes insulated bags that have the UConn logo on them.

Students at Avery Point can also use their meal plans at Mort’s Café, the restaurant at the Avery Point Student Center, Reitz says.

Students study and socialize in a room inside the Student Union at the Storrs campus. Photo: Daniela Doncel

Freshman allied health sciences major Benjamin Castro is a UConn student living at Storrs while taking courses at both the Hartford and Storrs campus.

“Right now, I take seven credits in Storrs and seven in Hartford. It’s required to take half or more while I’m in class in Hartford,” Castro says.

Castro says he has taken this opportunity to get more involved in the UConn community and to meet new people.

“I love living up here because I’m able to participate in more clubs and meet a larger population of people. Everyone is friendly and I think it’s great that you can even go up to strangers and five minutes later, you become best friends,” Castro says.

Castro says the only downside is the long walk to whichever class he’s headed.

He says he plans to head up to Storrs full-time as soon as possible and plans to work hard to see that happen.

Armela Mucka is also an allied health science major and a freshman studying at the Hartford campus. She says she’s heard of this opportunity and has considered it. Though she’s in the Storrs admission program for the spring semester, she says she would have rathered live in Storrs than go to the Hartford campus.

“It comes down to money-wise, in my opinion,” Mucka says, “I mean, I’m kind of helping out my parents in a way, but I don’t know, I’d rather stay up in Storrs.”

Freshman biology major Irin Matthew at the Hartford campus says she would not take the chance to live at Storrs.   

“I live in West Hartford and I don’t think there’s a point to go to Storrs and come here to study. I think that’s a waste of money,” Matthew says.

Reitz says, “We worked with the bursar, registrar, parking services, dining services, student health, student activities and other campus partners to ensure the pilot would work, and it’s been well received so far.”

She says this pilot program will help to see how the demand works out in the fall and spring semesters.