The housing department has begun a mandatory resident move from Polkinghorne Village by Thursday because of occupancy rates and the cost to keep the complex open.
Several students were outraged because they said administrators at the University knew previously that Polkinghorne was going to close, but said housing directors still placed them there.
“I’m not moving. They knew they were going to tear it down, and they didn’t tell us so we couldn’t get out of the contract,” said Joseph Johnson, a senior biology student.
Johnson went on to say that over the summer, he spoke with Assistant Director of Housing Bernard Kelly, and Kelly said the rumors about Polkinghorne closing down were false.
“I’m upset because this is an inconvenience to me,” Johnson said, “I don’t have time to pack because I have tests along with other things that I have to worry about.”
Tyrone Harris, a senior chemistry/pre-med student from Miami, said he was not moving and that he was outraged he would be asked to do so in the middle of the semester.
Harris said Oscar Crumity, interim housing director, sent a letter to the residents asking them to come to a meeting about a month ago concerning the residents moving out.
During the meeting, Crumity explained why the housing department wanted them to move and asked would they cooperate.
The last page of the housing contract states that, “If no one or more vacancies occur in a room or apartment…the students agree to be moved to other facilities if requested by the university.”
“The University did not know that Polkinghorne Village was going to close down,” Crumity said. “It is costing the University $25,000 a month for the eight people that are staying there. These students are impeding the process of closing down Polkinghorne.”
Harris and Johnson both said that Kelly and Locksley Thomas, a program assistant, threatened to turn the lights off in their apartments if they do not move.
“Unless we give them the ‘OK,’ we don’t have to go anywhere,” Harris said.
Kelly said he never threatened a student in any way.
“I didn’t go to any students’ apartment, and I didn’t give any students any boxes,” Kelly said.
Thomas refused to answer any questions regarding any of the allegations.
Another letter by Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Green-Powell will be sent out to the students who refuse to move.
Contact Tara West at email@example.com.