As the housing application process begins, long lines, confusion and frustration were issues students had to deal with Monday.
According to Florida A&M’s Director of University Housing Oscar Crumity, the line started long before the 7 a.m. open of business.
“We had our first students arrive this morning around 3:10 a.m,” Crumity said.
Ciara Johnson, a first-year biology pre-med student, said she arrived in line around 8 a.m., left to attend class and did not hear back from anyone until 2:30p.m. She was awarded a housing slot, but not everyone was as lucky.
“It was horrible,” said Veronica Mcgill, a first-year business administration student, after being put on the housing waiting list. She said she stood in line for nearly five hours.
“I was expecting a long line because I heard about that, but I was not expecting (a lack of organization) and students leaving to get checks and money orders,” Mcgill said. She added that she did not know a$350 deposit was needed to reserve a housing slot. She said she thinks students should have been better informed about the housing application process.
Crumity said some students do not realize that the university has a limited housing space reserved for freshman.
“Students need to understand that the university’s priority for housing is the incoming freshman class,” he added. He said the university currently has the capacity to house 2,483 students.
“If there is an incoming freshman class of 2,500 [that] are required to stay on campus, they are the priority,” said Crumity, “the thrust of that is to get the freshman acclimated to the university environment.”
According to Crumity, 300 students were assigned rooms on Monday. The remainder had to be put on a waiting list as incoming freshman numbers have yet to be projected.
In the meantime, sophomore Tyler Wester from Jacksonville, had some suggestions for making the housing process better for everyone.
“It should be online,” said Wester. “You should not have to choose between going to class and getting housing.” Wester added that he went to all three of his classes and returned to the Gibbs Hall lobby, where the application process took place. Receiving his number at 8 a.m., Wester said he waited for nearly six hours to be seen.
Crumity said the university housing office is working their best to meet the students’ needs.
“Hopefully we can get Sampson Hall and Young Hall back on line so we can accommodate a lot more of the male students,” Crumity said.
Renovations for Sampson and Young dormitory halls have already begun. There is also an 800 bed housing facility projected to begin construction in 2011 in the Polkinghorne Village location.
For more information about FAMU housing, go to www.famu.edu/housing.