By Lacey Holmes
As women migrate to BYU from around the world for the annual Women?s Conference, the debate continues: dorms versus hotels.
BYU opens Deseret Towers, Helaman Halls and Heritage Halls to house women for the duration of the conference. The cost for three nights in any of the dorms is $64.
Conference participant Sharlene Justus, from Englewood, Colo., is staying in Deseret Towers. She said she prefers the lower price of on-campus housing.
?It?s much better and besides, it?s more affordable,? Justus said.
Some participants are staying in the dorms because they have to. When asked why she was staying in the dorms, Carolyn Stiles, a conference participant from Moab, said she could not find vacancies in any hotels.
?There weren?t any motels available,? Stiles said. ?It was probably the best bargain.?
Other women thought staying in a hotel would be much calmer, even if it were more expensive.
They also noted the problems encountered when too many women try to share one bathroom.
?We?re old now, and we don?t like to share bathrooms,? said Cindy Whittaker, a conference participant staying at a local hotel.
Some of the conference participants staying in the dorms also mentioned this problem but said it could be solved.
?If you get up early, it?s fine,? said Tawna Chesley, a conference participant from Logan staying in Deseret Towers.
Justus said some women were up at 4:15 in the morning just to avoid the rush at the showers.
There are perks that are lost by staying in a hotel, some participants said.
?It?s close; it?s convenient,? Justus said. ?It?s a better chance for us to get together because you?re here for all of the humanitarian stuff; you?re here for all of the activities. You don?t have to worry about getting on and off campus, finding parking and all of that.?
For conference goers staying in the dorms, avoiding parking and traffic seem to be the biggest benefits of staying on campus.
?We actually have stayed in a hotel in previous years and didn?t like dealing with the traffic, trying to get up here in time,? Chesley said. ?It?s so much easier right now.?
On-campus housing also provides the opportunity for participants to eat at the dining centers.
Justus ate breakfast with her daughters at the Morris Center and was impressed with the dining service.
?Good variety, lots of choices,? she said. ?I have a daughter who has some dietary concerns and they were even able to provide her a good meal this morning.?
Staying in the dorms also helps conference participants to meet other participants. The communal living environments allow the women to mingle.
?I met someone from California in my room, and she?s now a part of our group,? Justus said.
Meeting new people added to Justus?s experience. She looks forward to coming to Women?s Conference every year.
?This is our annual vacation,? she said.