It is the start of a new year, administration and more importantly, a new face for student housing at Florida A&M University. The previous student government administration, led by Phillip Agnew and Monique Gillum, wanted to do an extreme makeover of the dorms. Their first step in this process was to install new furniture.
“We went and took a look at all the dorms and what their needs were,” said Gillum, the current student body president. “We also added TVs to the first floor of the cafeteria.”
After looking at the purchasing book, the Agnew-Gillum administration went to the dorms and asked students who lived there to help pick out furniture and then ordered it. “It was a way to make the dorms look more at home,” Gillum said.
Students seem to enjoy the new look. Brian Waritay, 19, a resident assistant for Gibbs Hall, confirmed the makeover’s success.
“Before, the chairs were outdated-they were dirty… some were still firm but they were rocky,” Waritay said. “Some of them [the chairs] were even sunken in… and you could tell the students didn’t care much about the furniture because it was so old.”
Waritay said each room normally comes with a bed, closet, dresser and a desk. “Most of them were in fairly poor condition,” said the second year RA and junior business student from Charlotte, NC. “They’re in usable condition, but not the ideal condition you’d want.”
New bed frames and closets for the bedrooms were some of the items that were brought in. The lobby areas received couches, sofas, tables as well as tall and short lounge chairs.
Waritay is certain that students are enjoying their new living arrangements. “Now they seem to care about the lobby a lot more. It’s something they can appreciate,” he said. “You can also tell that the morale has increased.”
Despite the recent updates made in some of the traditional dorms, there are still some concerns among students living in Palmetto North, who complained about the appearance of the carpet, excessive spiders and the overall condition of the apartments.
Traditional dorms are not the only residential areas being improved. There are plans to spruce up FAMU’s apartment style dorms as well.
“[Right now] some of [the apartments] are nicer than others,” Green said. “They’re fixing Phase 3, but Palmetto North is older and needs to be fixed [too],” said Keanna Green, a freshman business student from Fredericksburg, VA.
Slowly but surely residents can continue to look forward to new enhancements throughout the traditional and apartment style dorms.
Waritay said residents in Gibbs have a few more new features coming soon. He said in December cable and Ethernet will be installed throughout the dorm.
Gillum and Vice President James Bland want to continue the makeover process initiated by the Agnew-Gillum administration. “Before we do so, we want to add furniture to the rest of the dorms and add new TVs to the new TV room,” Gillum said.
Gillum also said the TV’s have already been purchased, but processing it through various university channels must occur beforehand.
“We’re open to new ideas for improving the campus atmosphere,” Gillum said.
Isaac Brundage, Director of Housing, was unavailable for comment.