Director plans dorm renovations

Interim Housing Director Oscar Crummity is planning to make some major renovations to FAMU’s dormitories.

The renovations will include a recommendation to reduce the occupancy of Paddyfote from 466 students to 233 by converting the rooms into single bedrooms. There will also be renovations to McGuinn, Diamond, Wheatley and Cropper halls. Truth Hall will be the last to be renovated, starting in 2007.

The renovations are scheduled to begin August 2006 and are slated to be completed in May of 2008. In addition to the renovations, new dormitories will also be implemented which will include Palmetto Phase Four, a 500-bed, suite-style facility and Phase Five A and Phase Five B.

Phase Five A and Phase Five B will be 300-bed apartment style facilities.

Crummity also said the implementation of cable television and Internet services within the traditional housing facilities are in the works.

“I am committed to this till the day I die,” Crummity said of the new plans.

Although adding new amenities to the dormitories may please the students, they are not without high costs.

“I would definitely pay more for some cable,” said Jillian Jones, a 19-year-old, business administration student from Salisbury, N.C.

“It’s not a necessity but it’s nice to have,” she added.

Charles Murrell said little things such as agreed the addition of cable television and Internet services would be a welcomed change to the dormitories that might make people feel more comfortable.

Many students said the conditions of housing are improving, but at a snail’s pace.

“It took them longer than it should have to respond to stuff,” the 19-year-old psychology student from Brooklyn, N.Y.

According to Crummity, housing’s greatest problem is acquiring revenue. The housing department operates only with funds provided through student housing fees and is not aided by funding from the government.

Recognizing previous housing disputes, Crummity said the department’s biggest conflicts concerning residents are visitation policies, student safety, property defacing and a better-trained staff.

“Training is the heart of the organization,” Crummity said.

Crummity also said the housing department has a very good working relationship with the Student Government Association.

“It allows us to hear some of the concerns of the students.”

He also said SGA President and Trustee Virgil A. Miller helps to bridge the gap.

“He’s a great voice for you all,” Crummity said.

While in the process of explaining plans for improvement, Crummity paused to credit the University for what he has gained.

“It has caused me to reflect on the value of teamwork,” Crummity said while reclining in a green leather chair.

“It has really humbled me in different ways.”

With phones ringing off the hook and several meetings that require his presence at times, Crummity said he can be hard to reach.

“I average 72 phone calls per day,” Crummity said.

However, Crummity said when he is available, he has an open door policy.

“I will always seek ways to do things better,” Crummity said

He said that at the beginning of his tenure he went through a period of adjustment.

But over time, Crummity said he has gained tremendous support from department heads and housing staff.

“I am serious about what I do,” Crummity said.

Crummity said he has taken responsibility for the conditions of the dormitories and is bridging the gap between students and their housing concerns.

“I believe the University’s mission is to increase enrollment,” he said.

“Housing is a vital part of that mission.”

Contact Kristen James at