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Hotel housing for students continues in Goleta

Housing still an issue on and off UCSB campus

GOLETA, Calif. - When it comes to housing, the University of California, Santa Barbara has been in the spotlight.

At the beginning of the fall quarter the university reached out to at least ten hotels to house students.

Drew Wakefield, of the Ramada by Wyndham, said students should not be crammed in dorms, cars or garages.

Students, who held a rally last Friday, agree. They are opposed to billionaire Charlie Munger's design of a namesake Munger Hall with few windows.

"UCSBs solution to the housing shortage is Munger hall which is a crazy building it has no windows the bedrooms are tiny it has so many similarities to a prison and it is totally unacceptable for USCB housing and we are here to stand against that," Phil Axelrod said.

As they rallied, the Goleta City Council directed the City attorney Megan Garibaldi to file a lawsuit accusing the university of failing to live up to a Long Range Development Plan settlement.

More than a decade ago the plan called for additional housing to handle increased enrollment.

When students stay in hotels, the city of Goleta loses out of tax revenues from hotels and visitors.

Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said, "UCSB's currently proposed student housing project, Munger Hall, a 4,500-unit dorm, has recently received harsh criticism in the national press. In light of this, we, at the City, are concerned that there may be no certainty as to whether the needed student housing will be built in a reasonable time frame."

More than two dozen students are living at the Ramada by Wyndham.

Wakefield is the director of sales and marketing.

He said they want to be there for UCSB Gauchos.

"We have a number of students staying with us up until December 15 and then it is back in UCSB's court," Wakefield said. "They are still going to need rooms, but we don't know how they are going to house them. We have set rooms aside but we don't know if UCSB is going to take them."

UCSB could not be reached for comment on Monday afternoon, but will have to respond to the housing deadline and the lawsuit in December.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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