Some students caught off-guard by order to vacate residence halls

Polkinghorne Village, the newest residence hall on campus. Photo courtesy

Florida A&M University sent an email on Friday notifying students of their eligibility for housing refunds.

The email, titled “Housing Refund Statement,” informed students of the measures the Department Housing would be taking to ensure the community is safe.

FAMU has ruled that Monday was the last service date for housing and meal plans.

Some students who had returned home during spring break were outraged to learn that they couldn’t return to their respective living assignments for the rest of the semester.

“I understand what they are doing, but did they put the kids who can’t go home into consideration? If they are closing the café, and suspending meal swipes then what are students supposed to eat,” freshman Yakora Pitts said.

It is being circulated among students that FAMU will allow students to stay on campus if they have no place to go back to, but they have to show a legitimate reasoning. Otherwise, all students living in residence halls have been ordered to vacate their rooms by April 6, or a week from Monday.

Some students who went home for the break are eager to get back to Tallahassee and collect their belongings.

“I believe this is a serious issues for those who depend on living in the Village, but also to students who are out of state and don’t have immediate transportation home,” freshman Amiya Bowers said.

Students that are from out of state should also be taken into consideration, during times like this, Bowers said, as some airlines have suspended travel to and from specific areas.

The Friday email to students stated, “Refunds will be processed for those who vacate or set appointments to move by April 6.”

“April 6 is very short notice for students who will now have to be exposed to the public and in some cases public transportation; just to move out of their dorms. I don’t believe these actions will eliminate the threat of spreading COVID-19,” Bowers said.

All students who are currently residing on campus are to vacate the premises no later than noon on April 6, according to the university.

International students, residents without permanent homes, students who come from high-risk areas, and other hardships weill be reviewed on a case-to-case basis by Tuesday, March 31.

Freshman, Lawrencia Palmer said, “I am upset that I was not able to get the full freshman experience. However, I believe that the state our country is in right now, being at school isn’t the best option. I hope we are able to be fully refunded.”

Housing plans to follow CDC guidelines during this period and practice social distancing. Therefore, those students who are not physically present on campus now will have between April 8-May 2 to schedule a time to officially move out, according to the university.

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