They reason that many people would prefer to stay on campus just like the “old days”.
However, in most cases, this reasoning is flawed and results in very dissatisfied attendees.
The reality is that many of your classmates are no longer able to live as students.
They are used to many of the conveniences of life and will feel extremely uncomfortable in campus housing (think coed bathrooms).
A better option is to reserve a block of hotel rooms locally by getting group rates. Most hotels will offer a sizable discount (like 20-25%) for booking the rooms as a group. If you want to learn more, read “How To Block Hotel Rooms For A Class Reunion“.
Here are 7 reasons why a class reunion should not use campus housing (residence halls)
Campus housing is occupied by students during the semester and is not available to class reunions. This restricts possible class reunion dates to the summer only. Even then, you will have to contend with orientations, and summer students.
There is no way to guarantee that all your classmates will stay in the same residence hall (dormitory). While the college will do its best, there is no way to guarantee it. Being in two or three buildings that are miles apart is an inconvenience most classmates don’t want to deal with.
Depending on the size of your school, dorms may not have elevators and limited number of rooms on the first floor. This can cause a real problem when you have to lug suitcases up and down staircases, especially for seniors.
Most colleges provide some kind of breakfast to the class reunions, but you won’t mistake it for a full hot breakfast that is served at hotels.
In addition, breakfast is served at a cafeteria that may not be close to campus housing, requiring you to walk or drive. Alternately, a hotel breakfast is convenient, and appetizing.
When was the last time you slept in a single bed? Does the thought of doing so bring up memories of an aching back, groggy eyes, and a lack of sleep? And do you remember how hard the mattresses were?
If you read the class reunion statistics article, then you know that 80-90% of the attendees will bring someone with them. It could be a spouse, or even the entire family (with the dog!). Obviously, campus housing will not be suitable for this demographic.
Many dorm rooms do not have air conditioners, decent lighting, or telephones. If you are planning a summer class reunion, living without an air conditioner will be quite a challenge. After sweating most of the night, you will get to shower in a (read below).
Remember these? Yes, dorms have coed bathrooms and many classmates will not be comfortable with them. In fact, there will be a whole group of them that will end up either not coming or staying a local hotel instead.
And if, despite the warnings above, you do end up booking campus housing, communicate it to your classmates early. Mention what a dorm looks like and the amenities they won’t have access to so everyone’s expectations are realistic when they arrive.
Finally, block a set of rooms at a local hotel anyway. In many cases, it is free to do and provides your classmates with an alternative to campus housing should they not be interested in sharing bathrooms anymore.
What should you do next?
Get group rates at local hotels near your school. Once you have group rates, set up a room block for classmates that are coming from out of town.And It’s Free.