Class is becoming the defining factor of university hostels

By Sarah Aanyu

Hostels have for a long time been in place and before there were those that provided only a room for the students but as time went on, it started evolving from being a room to having self contained rooms and now there are more items added and not only has its appearance advanced but also the fee paid has become high.

Nowadays, a student makes a choice of a place to reside depending on how much they can afford to pay and the kind of luxury they need to have while at campus.

One of the most expensive MUBS hostel at Kataza.

“Searching around the university student’s residential areas leaves you with a lot of options because most of the hostels have something different to offer,”says Axam Kayiwa, a custodian at Lavante Hostel in Kikoni.

He says in the years he has been in Kikoni, he has seen very many hostels constructed and each time each one is completed, you find out that there is something different it has to offer which has made it look like they are there to out compete the others that have already been in place.

A student’s room at one of the MUBS hostels

The rooms

Kayiwa says nowadays the hostel rooms are tiled, self-contained and most of them gives the student room to decorate it as they feel reason you find the students have flat screen TVs hang on the wall, they have drilled the wall to have their DSTV fixed and they have stickers put up and there are no penalties.

Shuttles

Kwesooka says this is the number one asset that the hostels acquire so that their residents can have transportation to campus so that they do not miss out on any lecture.

He says most hostels that are very far from campus premises miss out on hostel occupants simply because they do not have shuttles regardless of how their structure is.

Lighting

A new hostel at Makerere University Business School has proved what class is right from the entrance to the rooms they offer the students.

Douglas kwesooka, a caretaker of the yet to be occupied hostel says the owners chose to use chandeliers because there is beauty and class that such lighting brings outs and this not only bring out the picture they want to paint but also justifies the amount of money charged.

He says much as they have such kind of lights, some students may not wish to have them in their rooms so with time some of them will be changed  in order to suit the student’s need.

He says much as they have such kind of lights, some students may not wish to have them in their rooms so with time some of them will be changed  in order to suit the student’s need.

Swimming pools and gyms

“The latest hostels have either a gym or swimming pool in their residence because the you the nowadays are obsessed with working out and toning their bodies so making it available for them in the residences attracts more,” says Kwesooka.

A swimming pool at olympia hostel in Makerere, Kikoni

He says most students also take up such hostels because of the prestige they get when they tell someone they are from that hostel.

Restaurants and shopping centres

Apart from being that beautiful, Ssebaduka says nowadays the social amenities are becoming an added value for the hostels because they want to bring services closer to the students and the common ones are restaurants and shopping grounds.

He says these maybe for the owners or some other contractor who is willing to go by the owners rule just to make sure that the good supplied are not bad for the students.

Studio rooms

A hostel along Buganda road settled for studio rooms something that the owner Eria Ssebaduka (not real names) says he chose to do because the room is so strategic, next to campus and the roadside meaning it was meant to be occupied by not only campusers but also other people.

“These rooms contain a spacious bathroom with a shower and toilet, a reading area with table and chair, bed area, and a kitchen which has everything in order so that a person is comfortable in it,” says Ssebaduka.

Much as the room is quite spacious, Ssebaduka says they are meant to have only one occupant because it is the standard number.

Hostel security

Kwesooka says just like the hostels before, the hostels have enclosures but what is required for a person visiting to get in have changed.

“Some hostels have gatemen in uniform situated at the entrance and once a visitor gets there, they will be required to produce an identification card, sign in the book, be picked up by a resident in the hostel and also sign out when leaving,” says Zipporah Akankwasa, a custodian in a hostel in a hostel in Kyambogo University.

A hostel at Kikoni signs in using figure prints something that is only done by the residents and the custodian says this they decided because they needed the students to pick up their visitors personally and leave their IDs at the gate just for security.

Parking lots

Kayiwa says this has become a necessity in the hostels because most students own cars and need to have safe places to park them.

He says most hostels have lost potential residents because of lack of a parking lot since the students want their valuable asset to be safe.

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